The Mature Market Experts Stat of The Day: Grandparents as Voters




Grandparents, part of the coveted senior voting bloc, are looking to the future as they cast their votes. According to the GrannyVoter poll results:
  • Three out of four American grandparents (75%) strongly agree that in the upcoming Presidential election, they will vote their grandchildren’s long-term interests, as well as issues that affect them personally in the near term.
  • Surprisingly, grandparents consider the impact on their grandchildren even when asked about powerful senior voting issues. About three-quarters of grandparents (73%) stated that their views of Social Security and Medicare were influenced by the interests of their grandchildren. Only 26% said they make up their mind on Social Security and Medicare mostly on the basis of how it will affect them in the short-term.

The national survey, commissioned by and conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs from October 15-18, 2004, found that an overwhelming majority of America’s 70 million grandparents—some 86%—were registered to vote in the 2004 election, which is significantly higher than both non-grandparents (76%) and the general public (79%).

Pat Schroeder, a former Congresswoman and founder, said,

“Politicians who are perpetuating the myth of the Greedy Geezer Voter may want to rethink how they appeal to the important older voter. Even on the issue of Social Security, the supposed third rail of American politics, only 1 in 4 grandparents said they were voting their own interests. It’s time that politicians understand that having been blessed with a long life, we have great respect for the long-term view.”

On other key voting issues, the GrannyVoter poll finds that grandparents were slightly more likely to put their grandchildren’s interests ahead of their own:

  • When thinking about the nation’s budget deficit, 20% of grandparents said they made up their mind on their grandchildren’s interest, compared to 17% who did so mostly on the basis of their own interest.
  • On the environment, 16% of grandparents made up their mind mostly on the basis of their grandchildren’s interest and 15% did so mostly on the basis of their own interests.

The GrannyVoter poll found that the general public shared this strong inclination toward considering the future impact of policies when making their voting decisions. Almost three quarters (74%) of the general public said that in the upcoming Presidential elections, they would vote on issues that have long-term implications for future generations.

According to Mary Catherine Bateson, a cultural anthropologist and founder, “A GrannyVoter is anyone whose voting decisions are influenced by the interests of their grandchildren and future generations. According to our poll, America is becoming a nation of GrannyVoters. Led by a new generation of grandparents, voters are thinking more long-term than the politicians give them credit for.”

The Ipsos-Public Affairs poll of 1161 adults was conducted October 15-18, 2004 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.9 for all adults and +/- 4.1 for grandparents. It was the first poll to ask how grandparent status influences voters’ views. It was also the only poll in the 2004 election season to ask, “Are you a Grandparent?”

Press Release Source:


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