AARP Florida: Voters age 50+ split on presidential race, leaning toward Trump

"I Voted Early" sticker. CD Davidson-Hiers/Florida Phoenix

The nonpartisan AARP Florida, representing Floridians age 50 and older, announced Thursday that its survey of likely Florida voters of all ages is nearly split between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, with Biden holding a narrow lead.

But among voters age 50 and older, Trump holds a narrow lead, the survey said.

Voters age 50 and older comprised 64 percent of Florida voters in 2018 and 57 percent in 2016, AARP said in announcing its survey of 1,600 likely voters, conducted by Benenson Strategy Group and GS Strategy Group.

The survey showed Trump holding an edge among Florida’s 50-plus voters in terms of how they view the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey was conducted through Tuesday, before news accounts emerged Wednesday reporting that Trump told journalist Bob Woodward he was aware of the severity of the virus as early as February but denied its severity in public statements.

AARP (Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons) said its survey indicates the numbers of voters who “strongly oppose” Trump’s handling of the pandemic outnumber those who “strongly favor” it 45:39, with another group of survey respondents not holding strong feelings either way.

“Candidates who want to win in 2020 must talk about the issues that matter to voters 50 and over – like voting safely from home or in-person, preventing cuts to Social Security and Medicare and lowering prescription drug prices,” AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson said in a statement announcing the survey results. “Most importantly, Floridians are casting their ballots earlier than ever and candidates need to address their concerns now.”

Johnson said the survey also indicates:

/ Among voters age 50-plus, Trump leads Biden by 3 points

/ Biden leads Trump among voters age 18 to 49 by 8 points

/ Voters age 50-plus are roughly split on their preference to vote by mail rather than voting early or in person

/ And voters age 50-plus are divided on whether to be vaccinated against COVID-19 when a vaccine becomes available. The survey found that 46 percent said they would be vaccinated, while 30 said they would not, and 24 percent were unsure.