CONCORD, NH: When presidential candidates visit New Hampshire, they should be prepared to talk specifics about Medicare, Social Security, long-term care and consumer protections in managed care.
CONCORD, NH: When presidential candidates visit New Hampshire, they
should be prepared to talk specifics about Medicare, Social Security,
long-term care and consumer protections in managed care.
That was the message AARP/VOTE, the nonpartisan voter education program
of the American Association of Retired Persons, tried to send during a
news conference last Wednesday as it launched the most aggressive voter
education campaign in its 41-year history, the New Hampshire
Presidential Primary Project.
At the conference, AARP unveiled the results of a poll conducted by
national research firm ICR. When asked what key issues were very or
somewhat important to their vote, voters said Medicare (77%), Social
Security (83%), long-term care (77%) and managed care (73%). The poll
was conducted through telephone interviews with a random sample of 489
New Hampshire residents age 18 and over who are registered to vote.
As part of the campaign, AARP/VOTE is holding workshops to educate the
general public about key issues, as well as candidate meetings and
AARP will also utilize direct mail, radio and newspaper ads and the
Internet, and it will reach out to the media, particularly for
’We’re being much more aggressive and far-reaching than in years past,’
said Molly Daniels, national director of AARP/VOTE, who added that AARP
New Hampshire has 185,000 members. ’Our members are telling us that the
issues they’re interested in haven’t been resolved, and we want to give
them the opportunity to talk to the candidates, ask questions and get
beyond the slogans and soundbites.’
According to recent news reports, strategists in both major political
parties consider older voters to be an important swing in next year’s
election, with that population voting in greater proportion than any
other age group. In 1996, nearly 70%of registered voters age 65 and
older voted, double the rate of those aged 18-24. Approximately 60% of
registered older voters turned out at the polls in New Hampshire.
While Daniels said AARP receives some funding from AARP in Washington,
DC, the majority of the work is being handled by more than 200 New