Idaho's 50+ Vote Will Likely Determine November's Winners

Oct 22, 2010, 12:35 ET from AARP Idaho

Voting Powerhouse Even Stronger in Mid-Term Elections, AARP's "Over/Under 50 Voter" Analysis Finds 50+ Could Account for Over 2/3rds of All Ballots Cast

BOISE, Idaho, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Idaho candidates enter into the home stretch towards Election Day, the state's voters age 50 and older will likely determine who crosses the finish line and who doesn't.  While the 50+ in Idaho are already expected to make up over half (56%) of all votes cast this year, a new AARP analysis of voters under and over the age of 50 in Idaho elections finds that if voting trends hold, the group could account for over two-thirds of all voters come November 2.  

Mid-term elections, such as this year, often see lower voter turnout from most age groups, however, 50+ voters continue to show up in force, heightening the group's impact and importance at the polls.  The age group is consistently the most powerful vote in every local, state and federal election both in Idaho and across the nation.  

AARP's "Over/Under 50" Idaho voter analysis (AARP reviewed voting trends of Idaho voters under 50 and those over 50 based on state elections going back to 2002 who were also registered voters in the 2008 elections):

2002 Mid-term elections

Voters under 50 accounted for 26.5% of votes cast

Voters over 50 cast 73.5% of all votes cast

2004 (Presidential election year)

Under 50: 37% of all votes

Over 50: 63% of all votes

2006 Mid-term elections

Under 50: 35% of all votes

Over 50: 65% of all votes

2008 (Presidential election year)

Under 50: 47% of all votes

Over 50: 53% of all votes

For the upcoming 2010 elections in Idaho, the 50+ vote is on track to make up over two-thirds of all ballots cast.  Roughly half of Idaho's 50+ population are AARP members. With 90% of its members registered to vote and over 80% going to the polls in every local, state and federal election, 3 out of every 10 votes in Idaho this year are expected to come from an AARP member.  

Leading up to Election Day AARP is conducting Idaho's largest voter education effort, hitting every legislative and Congressional district to help its members, the 50+ and the public get the facts and learn the candidate's positions on key issues. AARP has launched a voter education website, which includes voter guides with candidate's positions on key issues to the 50+ for every state and federal election in Idaho this year.

The 2010 AARP Idaho "Straight from the Member" State Voter Guides, asked every candidate for Governor, Lt. Governor, and State Legislature to provide voters with their positions on issues critical to the 50+: the state budget; education funding; where they stand on the "conscience law" which allows health care professionals to deny living wills and advance directives; and Idaho's doctor shortage. The issues in the voter guide came straight from AARP members across Idaho.

The Idaho Congressional Voter Guides state the candidate's positions on issues: the future of Social Security; Medicare fraud; access to doctors for Medicare beneficiaries; and how the candidates will help older workers get back to work.

AARP is Idaho's largest membership organization with 180,000 members.

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