Women 50+ Biggest Wild Card Vote in 2024 Election


Last updated 5/2/2024 at 11:41am | View PDF

Women voters age 50 and older are the biggest wild card vote in the 2024 election, divided almost evenly on their preferred presidential candidate, according to a new AARP poll. These voters share common concerns about their financial security, wellbeing, the political divide and the overall future of the country.

In a head-to-head matchup, 43% of women 50+ said they would vote for Donald Trump in an election today, while 46% said Joe Biden. In a generic Congressional ballot, Republicans and Democrats are tied at 45%.

Conducted with national pollsters Kristen Soltis Anderson and Margie Omero, the poll shows Biden does particularly well among women 65+, winning this group over Trump by a seven-point margin, while women aged 50-64 are more likely to say they are undecided (15%). However, overall, these voters are dissatisfied with the country's political leaders, and nearly half (48%) are worried about the upcoming election. They are likely to feel they are not being heard by leaders - 75% say politicians in Washington don't listen to the views of people like them.

"Women aged 50 and over are one of the most consequential and influential voting groups in this election," said Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer. "Women in this voting bloc are concerned about America's future, their own financial security, wellbeing and our nation's political divisiveness. And yet they are not a monolithic group. Candidates who want to win in 2024 should pay attention to the concerns they share, and the concerns that differ."

Additional Findings

Women voters 50+ have serious worries about their financial security.

• When asked to choose the two biggest issues facing the country today, cost of living tops the list, with 38% citing it a top issue, followed by immigration (32%), threats to democracy (20%) and political division (16%).

• Half (51%) say they are not confident they will be better off financially a year from now. Among those currently working, 54% don't think they will have enough money to retire at the age they would like to.

• Almost half (48%) say their own personal financial situation is falling short of what they expected at this point in their lives.

Fears about the Future

• Seven in ten (70%) think the country is on the wrong track, and nearly half (47%) think America's best days are behind us, while only 27% say the best days are ahead.

• Only 19% think the country will become more stable in the year ahead, while 46% think it will become less so, citing government dysfunction (63%), the economy (58%), political division and partisanship (55%), crime (55%), and the situation at the southern border (53%) as the top issues driving this instability.

• Only 28% of women 50+ expect the economy to improve over the next year, while 42% expect the economy to get worse.

Many women 50+ feel pulled by a wide range of demands, like caregiving, and that their personal lives aren't what they expected at this age.

• A third (32%) say that their overall enjoyment in life falls short of what they expected. Many say they are stressed (34%) and worried (32%) when asked how they feel about their life today.

• Over seven in ten say they are currently a family caregiver (21%) or have been a caregiver (50%) to a parent, partner/spouse, or adult child. Among current unpaid caregivers, more than a third (36%) are also still working.

• Women voters overall (82%) and women voters 50+ (84%) overwhelmingly see a need for elected officials to provide more support for seniors and caregivers.

"Women aged 50 plus are not easy to pin down into a single stereotype," said Anderson, "We know they're frustrated with the way things are going, don't believe their voices are being heard, and are worried about the future of the country."

"While women over 50 might be looking for more ways to stay connected, compared to voters overall, they are more likely to be dissatisfied with the amount of time spent with family," said Omero. "They are less likely to make their voices heard, and are also less likely to feel listened to."


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