New AARP Colorado Poll: 65-plus Voters May Tip the Scales in 2020

Findings Show Social Security and Medicare Transcend Party Lines ~

Denver, Colo.—Today AARP Colorado released the full survey results that shows voters age 65-plus are not a lock for either of Colorado’s U.S. Senate candidates. Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (48 percent) leads incumbent Senator Cory Gardner among voters 65-plus (47 percent), a difference of only 1 percent.

In the presidential race, former Vice President Joe Biden (51 percent) leads President Donald Trump (44 percent) among voters 65-plus.

The survey finds that support for Social Security and Medicare unify voters from both parties.

When considering voters age 50 and over, a significant majority of Coloradans say that Social Security (79 percent) and Medicare (76 percent) are important issues when deciding their vote for the U.S. Senate. A majority of voters from both parties say that Social Security (88 percent Dem., 73 percent Rep.) and Medicare (86 percent Dem., 68 percent Rep.) are important to their Senate vote and would also be more likely to vote for a candidate who will stand up for these programs and lower drug costs (92 percent Dem., 81 percent Rep.) and increase access to more affordable long-term care (90 percent Dem., 65 percent Rep.).

“Candidates who want to win in 2020 must talk about the issues that matter to voters 50 and over – like voting safely from home or in-person, preventing cuts to Social Security and Medicare and lowering prescription drug prices,” said Bob Murphy, AARP Colorado State Director. “Most importantly, Coloradans are casting their ballots earlier than ever and candidates need to address their concerns now.”

The Colorado poll findings include:

  • Voters 65-plus plan to vote by absentee ballot (58 percent) or early in-person (18 percent) in large numbers this year, while voters 50 to 64 plan to vote by absentee ballot (51 percent) or early in-person (23 percent) in large numbers this year.
  • A majority (58 percent) of 65-plus voters worry about themselves or family contracting coronavirus, while voters 50 to 64 (52 percent) are only slightly less concerned.
  • More than half (53 percent) of voters 65-plus would agree to be vaccinated if an FDA-approved vaccine to prevent coronavirus was available right now at no cost. Voters age 50 to 64 are less likely (38 percent).
  • About 49 percent of voters 65-plus say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who is focused on keeping families healthy and reducing the spread of Coronavirus. In comparison, about 53 percent of voters age 50 to 64 are more likely to vote for a candidate who is focused on rebuilding the economy by reopening businesses and getting people back to work.

AARP commissioned the bipartisan polling team of Fabrizio Ward & Hart Research to conduct polls in five states with key U.S. Senate races, including Colorado. The firms interviewed 1600 likely Colorado voters, which includes a statewide representative sample of 800 likely voters, with oversamples of 400 likely voters age 50 and older, and 400 Hispanic likely voters age 50 and older, between Aug. 30 and Sept. 5, 2020. The interviews were conducted via landline and cellphone. The margin of sampling error for the 800 statewide sample is ±3.5%; for the 749 total sample of voters 50+ is ±3.6%; and for the 466 total sample of Hispanic voters 50+ is ±4.6%.

Due to rounding, answer choices may not always add up to 100%. All reported data is among 50+ voters except when otherwise specified. Partisan crosstabs in this report represent how people identify themselves when asked, not how they are registered.

About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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