AARP poll sheds light on black voters in Pennsylvania heading for major 2022 mandates

A recent survey commissioned by AARP Pennsylvania showed what black Pennsylvania voters over 50 are thinking as they prepare to vote in November.

The survey shows that black voters over 50 are heading into the 2022 general election supporting Lt. Gov. John Fetterman for the U.S. Senate and Attorney General Josh Shapiro for governor. Both are Democrats.

In the poll, Shapiro leads Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano among black voters by more than 50 percent, 78 percent to 17 percent. In the race for the US Senate, Fetterman is ahead of Republican Mehmet Oz, a famous doctor, 76%-16%.

Two-thirds of black voters also said they were unhappy with what was happening with the economy, both nationally and in the state. They also place voting rights, Social Security and Medicare at higher levels of importance for their November vote.

“Black voters are consistently showing up at the polls, so it’s important that candidates pay attention to their concerns as election season heats up,” said AARP Pennsylvania State Director Bill Johnston-Walsh. .

“But their vote is not guaranteed for one party or another,” he added. “With the price of necessities like groceries, gasoline and prescription drugs skyrocketing, black voters in Pennsylvania are concerned about these issues and want to see elected officials come up with solutions.”

Among all Pennsylvania voters over 50, Fetterman leads Oz 50% to 44% in the open U.S. Senate race and Shapiro narrowly leads Mastriano, 49% to 46%.

The AARP poll also reveals a gender gap, with 54% of women backing Fetterman and 40% backing Oz in the US Senate race. In the gubernatorial race, 55% of women back Shapiro and 41% back Mastriano.

Among the men, 51% support Mastriano and 49% support Oz while 43% support Shapiro and 45% support Fetterman.

Nearly 85% of respondents said the country was heading in the wrong direction and more than 75% said the state was going in the wrong direction. Only 30% said they felt the economy was working for them.

Enthusiasm is also high among likely voters of both parties, with 84% of Democrats and 87% of Republicans saying they are “extremely motivated” to vote for governor and Congress in 2022.

In the 2018 midterm elections, Pennsylvanians age 50 and older made up 61% of all voters in the state.

“People look at these portfolio issues and what affects them on a daily basis,” Johnston-Walsh said. “They also see that President Biden’s approval rating is also underwater.

“I think it impacts state races like the federal state senate seat as well as the governor’s race,” he added. “The single most important thing that all the polls show is the power of voice and how residents over 50 think their voice relates to their vote.”

AARP commissioned Fabrizio Ward and Impact Research to conduct the investigation. The survey, which reached nearly 1,400 Pennsylvania voters, was conducted this month via landline, cellphone and text from June 12-19.

It included a statewide representative sample of 500 likely voters, an oversample of 550 similar voters age 50 and older, and an additional oversample of 328 black potential voters age 50 and older. AARP plans to do another survey of the general election in mid-October.

“We want to make sure that all Pennsylvanians know it’s their privilege and their right to vote,” Johnston-Walsh said.

“We also want to make sure that all the campaigns realize that the voter over 50 is not happy with what is happening in the country, but especially in the state,” he added. “They have a lot of issues that affect them and they want to be heard.”

Chanel Hill is a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this story first appeared.

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