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Cost of living, debt and inflation among top concerns for women in 2024 elections

The AARP’s poll found that most women are dissatisfied with the country’s political leaders, and nearly half or 48% are worried about the upcoming election.
UPDATED JUN 21, 2024
Cover Image Source: A woman looks over her paper absentee ballot during early voting | Getty Images | Photo by J.D. Pooley
Cover Image Source: A woman looks over her paper absentee ballot during early voting | Getty Images | Photo by J.D. Pooley

Women are going to be one of the most influential blocks of voters in the upcoming presidential elections. As per data from AARP and NIRS, financial security and the cost-of-living crisis are the top concerns in the minds of women heading into the election. AARP suggests women aged 50 and over are the biggest wild card vote in the 2024 elections. For now, this group is evenly divided on their preferred presidential candidate as per the January poll from AARP.

A woman votes at a polling booth | Getty Images | Photo by Sean Rayford
A woman votes at a polling booth | Getty Images | Photo by Sean Rayford

In the AARP poll, most women (38%) cited a higher cost of living as a top issue while over half (51%) said they are not confident they will be better off financially a year from now. Among those who are currently working, 54% don’t think they will have enough money to retire at their desired age. Furthermore, seven in 10 (70%) of the respondents think the country is on the wrong track, and nearly half (47%) think America’s best days are gone. 

Meanwhile, 46% of the respondents said they think the country will become less stable in the year ahead. The top reasons stated by the respondents for instability were government dysfunction (63%), the economy (58%), political division and partisanship (55%), and the situation at the southern border (53%).

The AARP’s poll found that most women are dissatisfied with the country’s political leaders, and nearly half or 48% are worried about the upcoming election. A majority, 75% of the women in the 50-plus age group, feel they are not being heard by leaders as they said politicians in Washington don’t listen to their views.



 

Thus, women voters overall (82%) and women voters 50+ (84%) said they elected officials to provide more support for seniors and caregivers.

Coming to the candidate preference, according to AARP’s poll, 43% of women in the 50 and above group said they would vote for former President Donald Trump, while 46% said they would back President Joe Biden. 



 

However, that support is likely to fluctuate in the upcoming months, said Margie Omero, principal at public opinion research and political strategy firm GBAO who worked on the poll. The report also noted that women 50 and up are one of the largest and most reliable groups of voters.

A study by the Pew Research Center found this particular group cast one-third (33%) of ballots in the 2022 election. They are also considered the largest bloc of swing votes for the elections. 

According to another recent research from the National Institute on Retirement Security, or NIRS, younger women share many retirement concerns with the older group. The study, which surveyed women aged 25 and over found that 81% of the respondents were worried about long-term care costs and many want the government to do more to help Americans access better services. 



 

Furthermore, 76% of the respondents feel retirement is getting more difficult in the U.S. By this group, inflation and rising healthcare costs were the top two reasons cited apart from rising debt and fewer pensions. Thus, 86% of the younger women felt that Congress should act now to shore up Social Security rather than waiting and 82% believed that all workers should have pensions. However, the NIRS research doesn’t show how exactly these concerns will influence their votes in the elections.

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