ALBANY, N.Y, April 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Donald Trump is the only presidential candidate who has not laid out a plan to make Social Security financially sound for future generations – and 88% of New York's undecided Republican voters 50 and older think he should, according to a poll of the state's largest voting bloc commissioned by AARP.
The survey of 399 Republican and 401 Democratic voters age 50 and above, conducted by Precision Opinion, found New York native Trump and former U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton of New York with commanding leads approaching next Tuesday's New York presidential primaries – but with huge numbers of voters undecided.
On the GOP side, businessman Trump was favored by 40% of respondents, with 12% supporting U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, 9% backing Ohio Governor John Kasich, and 36% undecided.
Among Democrats, former First Lady and Secretary of State Clinton had 48%, with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont at 21%, and 26% undecided.
AARP is a non-partisan social mission organization that does not endorse candidates. But the 38-million-member association – with 2.6 million members across New York – is conducting a "Take a Stand" campaign to urge that all candidates lay out detailed plans to ensure Social Security remains financially sound for future generations.
Due in part to the tireless work of AARP volunteers who've been questioning candidates at events in the battleground states, every presidential candidate has issued a Social Security plan except Donald Trump.
"New York's largest voting bloc is saying loud and clear that presidential candidates should put their Social Security cards on the table," said Beth Finkel, State Director of AARP in New York State. "The 50+ agree that having a plan to ensure Social Security is financially sound for their children, grandchildren and future generations is a basic threshold for presidential leadership."
The 50+ make up the largest voting bloc in New York; they accounted for 57% of all votes in the last presidential election in 2012 despite making up less than 52% of the state's voting-age population. And nearly 65% of New Yorkers 50 and older went to the polls in the last presidential election, well above the 52% rate among younger voting-age New Yorkers.
Nearly 3.5 million New Yorkers receive Social Security – including almost nine of every 10 New Yorkers 65 and older. The 80-year-old federal earned benefits program keeps a third of New York's 65+ population out of poverty, and makes up 50% or more of the income of nearly half the state's 65+ population – and 90% or more of the income for more than two of every 10 New Yorkers 65 or older.
Among the 50+, the poll found 96% of Democratic and 92% of Republican voters said it's important candidates lay out their plans to update Social Security, while 90% of the Democrats and 83% of the Republicans agreed that having a plan for Social Security is a basic threshold for presidential leadership.
Republican women were more likely than GOP men to say it's "very important" that Trump lay out a plan for Social Security (57% vs. 46%), as were Republican voters earning under $50,000 a year compared to those making over $100,000 (65% vs. 44%). Republican men were far more likely than GOP women to say it was "not important at all" for Trump to issue a plan (16% vs. 6%).
The telephone poll of registered voters was conducted April 5-8. Each sample - 401 Democrats and 399 Republicans - has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 5%.
Note: Voting rates and percentages for New York's 50+ are based on statistics found at https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/socdemo/voting/publications/p20/2012/tables.html, Table 4C
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org
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SOURCE AARP New York