« Pam Bondi, PR Gov. Fortuno to speak at RNC | Main | PolitiFact Florida: Fact-checking recent campaign attacks »

AARP FL seniors-Boomer poll: Obama 44%-Romney 46%, Sen. Nelson 39%-Mack 42%

Despite repeated attempts to paint Republicans as bad for Medicare and Social Security, President Obama and Sen. Bill Nelson are essentially tied with their Republican rivals when it comes to Florida retirees and baby boomers, a new AARP poll shows.

Obama garners 44 percent of the vote to Mitt Romney's 46 percent and Nelson trails Republican Rep. Connie Mack by a 42-39 split. The Republican leads are well within the 4.4 percent error margin for the poll of the 503 registered voters surveyed by Hart Research Associates.**

Indeed, the Nelson-Mack race might be even tighter, with 19 percent of voters undecided. Without so-called "leaners"-- those unsure voters asked whom they lean toward -- Nelson is slightly ahead of Mack by 29-31 percent.

Underlying the senior's sentiments are persistent fears of the bad economy, their finances and the increasing sense that they'll have to rely on Social Security and Medicare for their retirement. Because many Republican plans call for bigger future-year changes to the entitlements that could eventually reduce benefits, Democrats have long been able to persuade senior voters that they're better equipped to manage these programs, which were created by Democrats.

But the poll suggests that Democratic edge is slipping away. More than 80 percent agreed with the statement that "my personal economic circumstances have been negatively affected" by the economic downturn of past four years and political gridlock in Washington. Both issues Obama said he'd fix when he was elected in 2008.

The poll shows that retirees are much more sanguine about their savings, finances and the comfort of their living conditions than Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers are essentially deadlocked 45-46 percent over Romney and Obama. But retirees favor Romney by 5 percentage points, 48-43 percent, over Obama.

White retirees -- among those most-likely to vote in an election -- overwhelmingly favor Romney over Obama by a 54-38 percent spread. Those who are confident about retirement with Obama over Romney, 56-41 percent. It's the reverse for those who are not confident: 50 percent for Romney and 36 percent for Obama.

Substitute "retirement" for "economy" (after all, the sense about one's retirement reflects the sense of the future economy) and the poll indicates that confidence in the economy is damaging Obama more than Romney.

Indeed, 49 percent of non-retired Boomers essentially believe they might never be able to retire -- that they'd have to work until they die.

The candidates and the news media come in for criticism as well from the respondents who say none has done a good job fleshing out the platforms about Social Security and Medicare.

Some takeaways from the poll:

A major driver of economic anxiety is concern over retirement security: 62% believe they will have to delay retirement, 58% worry they won’t have a comfortable retirement, and 49% don’t think they’ll ever be able to retire.  This insecurity leads Boomers to conclude that Medicare and Social Security have become even more important for their future.

50+ voters in Florida want to know where the candidates stand on Medicare, Social Security, and other vital issues.  But they report that the candidates have done a poor job explaining their plans on priority issues, including strengthening Social Security (63%), strengthening Medicare (60%), reducing the budget deficit (66%), and taxes (55%).

**Note: We're waiting on the Republican-Democrat-independent breakdown of the poll to make sure it accurately reflects the electorate.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


This is a sham. They did not ask me. Did they ask you? AARP should be ashamed of themself for being a GOP tool. Ths is one member who is cancelling today.


The republicans have done a great job of misleading the elderly. If the elderly vote for Romney, then they will deserve what get and I will have no sympathy for them.


Seniors will regret this. If Mitt Romney gets elected and his tax policy, or carbon copy Paul Ryan's, Florida seniors will lose their Medicare as they know it. The Republicans don't "say" this in their budgets, but Medicare is where the money is -- and they will need it to pay for their tax cuts for the rich. Kiss it good-bye, seniors!


I'm old, I live in Florida and realize that AARP has been on the president's side on all his take from productive citizens and give to the non-productive ones. Our country cannot stand much more of President Obama's mistakes. I'm not a big Romney fan but we are in a position where our very survival as a nation depends on a change in leadership of our country.


"very survival as a nation"? Is'nt that a bit much??? Ron, you have obviously watched too much Fox.Obama is many things, but he loves America as much as you do and is not a threat to the nation unless its code word for "he is not one of us". No more partisan talking points please from either side. These are real issues deserving of careful thought.

Patricia Weidl

How anyone would even consider voting for Romney goes beyond my comprehension. He seems to be a pathological liar, refuses to release his income taxes and has embraced the Paul Ryan budget which is horrendous for americans, especially seniors. C'mon seniors in Florida , get with it & become informed please.


Polls are for people that sit at home waiting for a pollster to ask them slanted questions. Shame on AARP! I will not join them.


A lot of fear-mongering in these comments, so few facts.


The facts are simple - Romney has championed the Ryan tax plan! He has campaigned in support of that tax plan. And the Ryan tax plan wants to destroy Medicare and Social Security as we know it and replace it with private, for profit companies. Obama wants to do get the waste out of Medicare and there is plenty in it. Doctors and scammers are especially bad in Florida. If you don't do some real (not faux news and RNC chatter) investigation into the Social Security and Medicare situation, you could end up with nothing! And, since I am dependent upon both, I've done my due diligence on these candidates' plans. Mitt (the "I will say anything to get elected" candidate) just doesn't care about "you people", and I am a "you people".


I have waited so log to hear this. As a senior, I have suffered terribly under Obame. I had been a democrat all my life and feel totally betrayed.

Retired and Concerned

Why do the comments always have to be a vial disregard for the other persons opinion. Screaming hatred only makes people tune out what you are saying.

Walter Cronkite use to close with the comment, read your newspaper. Stop yelling out unsubstantiated garbage and read your paper. Absorb understand the facts and then make an informed opinion.

When you allow others to provide you with misinformation and accept it as fact you further no cause.

Take a look at the facts, we have reached a point in this economic meltdown where people cannot even afford to eat at McDonald's. That's right even the Mic is loosing money.

Retired people like me live off of a balance between the money we saved for retirement and dividends from investing those funds. These are IRA's or, TSP's or what ever form of invested savings you have set aside for retirement.

Their is now virtually no dividends. The interest rate is stagnant because the Fed is keeping it arbitrarily low to prevent inflation. But in reality they are draining the life blood out of the retired peoples savings.

We have lost 40 percent of our savings already in this economic downturn. The interest we are being paid for our savings doesn't keep up with the cost of inflation. It is time for a change.


Nobody seeing the deeper message here? Despite the spin, IF the poll is correct, Obama will have virtually the same losing margin among the elderly that he did before against McCain -- which means he will easily pick up the net vote margin. It is Romney, not Obama, who should be alarmed by these numbers.


Boomers have something more to worry about beyond Medicare, Social Security, and the economy:
Unlawful and abusive guardianships and conservatorships of the vulnerable elderly, all across the country, which will separate them from their assets and their families.


Its good to see that I am not the only one that does not buy into AARP polls. I just read one of their so called polls and its says that boomers want SS and Medicare strengthened. Yet at the end of the poll, it said that boomers want it reformed for future generations. Anybody with half a brain would of learned by now that reform means cut. And the message that the AARP keeps putting out showing that about 60% of boomers say they will never be able to retire is really saying that they won't need SS so might as well raise the age on them. They are deliberately asking the wrong question to get the poll that they want. I emailed them and asked them why they are not asking the boomers if they are willing to take a cut in order to strengthen SS. I said because you know the answer will be NO. Boomers should not feel bad for wanting what they have paid all their lives. It is not their fault that SS is in trouble. It is our corrupt governments fault because they are the ones that cut taxes and kept us in 13 yrs of useless wars. It is their fault that they bailed out Wall Street. They can begin fixing some of the problems by shutting down federal buildings that they aren't using and shut down useless military bases thru out the world. If Paul Ryan is chosen for VP, watch out for all the lies that will come out saying the boomers love him! There are so many people behind trying to screw the people out of their SS and Medicare just so Wall Street can get even richer!

Diane H

Someone should tell Florida seniors that Romney/Ryan will also cut Medicaid. Some of these seniors will eventually have to go to a nursing home, and Medicare doesn't pay for nursing homes, Medicaid does.


"Contrary to what you've heard and what you may hear from subsequent speakers, Obamacare actually strengthened Medicare," the president told the AARP Liffe@50+ event, using the nickname for the 2010 Affordable Care Act that passed with no Republican support.
In particular, he called the claim by Ryan and other Republicans that $716 billion is being cut from Medicare to fund the health care bill "simply not true."
Ryan spoke to the same event shortly afterward, saying that Obama's contention that the health care law strengthened Medicare was "just not true," adding that the legislation "turned Medicare into a piggy bank for Obamacare."


Fact checkers are going insane just keeping up with the sheer quantity of lies coming out of the mouths of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Steve Benen collected 533 lies in the past 30 weeks from Romney alone, and this is not a comprehensive list. Hundreds of those lies have been repeated over and over again; all 15 volumes of Mitt Romney's lies are chronicled here.

Paul Ryan made so many lies in his speech that even Republican news sources began to feel great concern about certain statements. A Democratic site ThinkProgress offers an analysis of the "6 Worst Lies in Paul Ryan's speech."

Neil Newhouse, a pollster for Romney, has even said, "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers."

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have been caught lying directly to the American people. What scares me most about Paul Ryan is that even though I've studied nonverbal communication and can usually detect deception, Paul Ryan seems to have perfected it. Like a child who has learned to look his mother directly in the eye when lying, Paul Ryan knows how to lie to the American public. He knows how to lie to you.

And what he is saying about Medicare is true,,he will voucher us Seniors,,once elected they can do anything they darn well please..I don't trust liars! Romney has lied about the 217 billion dollars and keeps repeating it so people will believe it,,do a fact check,,it's not true and I will NOT have them TOUCH MY MEDICARE!! Born and raised in WIS,,Ryan is not well liked!!


The comments to this entry are closed.