Social Security a Top Concern of Iowa Caucus Goers: AARP

Regardless of party affiliation or age, Iowa caucus goers want to hear about Social Security reform

More than nine in 10 Iowa caucus goers across party lines and age groups say they want to hear more from presidential candidates about their plans to strengthen Social Security, according to a just-released survey by AARP.

The survey, of 1,007 likely Iowa caucus goers age 18 and older — 503 Democratic caucus goers, 504 Republican caucus goers — set out to examine their views on the importance of candidates focusing on Social Security and which candidate they expect to caucus for on Feb. 1.

The survey is part of AARP’s 2016 presidential election issue campaign, Take A Stand. The site also shows the Social Security plans proposed by each candidate. To date, all but three of the Democratic and Republican candidates have proposed plans.

When asked if they have heard enough about the candidates’ plans for the future of Social Security, 51% of Democratic caucus goers said they’d like to know more about Hillary Clinton’s plans, and 38% would like to know more about Bernie Sanders’ plans.

Among Republican caucus goers, 45% would like to know more about Donald Trump’s plans, and 41% would like to know more about Ted Cruz’s and Marco Rubio’s plans.

When polled on the importance of candidates focusing on Social Security, the survey found that more than nine in 10 Iowa caucus goers think it is important for presidential candidates to have a plan for the future of the program.

Regardless of age, more than half of all likely caucus goers think this is “very important.”

Also, more than eight in 10 Iowa caucus goers agree that having a plan for Social Security is a basic threshold for presidential leadership. This includes 88% of likely Democratic caucus goers and 86% of likely Republican caucus goers.

More than nine in 10 Iowa caucus goers also said that it’s imperative that the next president and Congress take action to make Social Security financially sound. This includes 94% of Democratic caucus goers as well as 94% of Republican caucus goers. 

“Iowa caucus goers are sending a clear message to the presidential candidates that having a plan to keep Social Security strong is a test of leadership,” said AARP State Director Kent Sovern, in a statement announcing the report’s findings. “Yet, some presidential candidates are dodging the issue. Our survey confirms Iowa caucus goers agree if a candidate thinks they’re ready to be president, they should at least be able to tell voters where they stand on Social Security’s future.”

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