National Survey of Older Voters During COVID-19

Portrait of Smiling Older Woman

A survey by The Harris Poll on behalf of AARP reveals older voters’ attitudes and opinions.  Fielded at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the survey gives voice to women voters’ important issues, worries, expectations for candidates, and beliefs about what contributes to America’s greatness.

The Issues That Matter Most : Social Security, Coronavirus, Medicare, and Healthcare Costs Including Prescription Drugs

Across 22 issues that impact individuals and communities, half or more of women voters age 50 and older believe the following are extremely important:

  • Securing the future of Social Security (69%)
  • Addressing the coronavirus (66%)
  • Securing the future of Medicare (62%)
  • Lowering healthcare costs (56%)
  • Lowering prescription drug costs (53%)

Constant Worry about Financial Issues

Many older women voters always worry about prices rising faster than income (35%), not having enough money in retirement (30%), paying too much in taxes (26%), and not being able to afford the healthcare they need (24%).

Candidates Better Prepare Their Stance on Important Issues and Exhibit Integrity, Understand Everyday Issues Deeply, and Get Things Done

Women voters age 50 and older (61%) say the stance on issues is what matters the most when voting for elected officials.  Far fewer say experience (12%), strong electability and capability of staging a winning campaign (9%), political party affiliation (9%), and character or personality traits (9%) matter most in their voting.

The top qualities that women voters age 50 and older look for in their elected officials are

  • Exhibits integrity, honesty, and moral character (59%)
  • Understands deeply the day to day issues of ordinary Americans (58%)
  • Prioritizes getting things done above political party ideology (45%)

Open and Free Elections Are a Major Contributor to Making America So Great

Seventy-four percent of women voters ages 50 and older believe democratic government including free and open elections and the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights contribute to making American culture and society great. Women also believe hard working people (83%), military strength (77%), individual freedom (74%), and anyone being able to succeed through education and work (74%) are major contributors.


This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of AARP, March 13–23, 2020, among 3,500 self-identified registered voters ages 50 and older. The overall sample had 2,023 women voters ages 50 and older.

The data are weighted to the United States population ages 50 and older by education, gender by age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, marital status, census division, household income, household size, and employment status to population benchmarks from the March 2019 Current Population Survey (CPS). Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. Raked weights are estimated using random iterative method (RIM) weighting.

For more information, contact Rachelle Cummins at For media inquiries, contact


Suggested citation:

The Harris Poll. National Survey of Older Voters During COVID-19. Washington, DC: AARP Research, June 2020.



I have functioned as a Business and Media Consultant over the past sixteen years and spent many years developing my capacity to function in our ever evolving use of technology, communication, education and training.