IN-Sen: AARP Poll Has Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) Leading Mike Braun (R) 38-35 With Senior Citizen Voters

Here’s some more good news today out Indiana:

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A new AARP poll of Hoosiers over the age of 50 shows that Democrat incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly has a slight edge over his Republican opponent businessman Mike Braun with older Hoosiers, but that difference falls within the margin of error.

Of the 807 voters surveyed, 38 percent said they would vote for Donnelly, compared to 35 percent who said they would vote for Braun. Another 26 percent — the largest chunk in any poll so far — say they are undecided.

The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

The poll results may be a bit surprising to those who say older Americans tend to vote Republican. Recent polling shows that 31 percent of Baby Boomers identify themselves as conservative Republicans or leaning Republican compared with 17 percent of Boomers who say they are liberal Democrats or lean Democrat, according to the Pew Research Center.

Here’s more from the polling results:

AARP Indiana recently conducted two separate tele-town halls with both major party candidates for U.S. Senate. Senator Joe Donnelly participated on September 10, and Mike Braun participated on September 12. Both candidates heard directly from voters during the one-hour calls, with many asking about the same issues highlighted in the poll.

The Indiana poll found:

  • 93 percent of voters age 50-plus in Indiana think Medicare is very important for people’s health in retirement.
  • 92 percent agree that Congress should make changes to ensure the program can continue to cover hospital benefits beyond 2029.
  • 82 percent think it is unfair to deny coverage or make those with pre-existing conditions pay more for their health care.
  • 83 percent do not agree with allowing insurance companies to charge older people up to five times more for health insurance.
  • 87 percent think that Social Security is very important for financial security in retirement,
  • 69 percent believe the government should do something to strengthen Social Security immediately.
  • 57 percent of working voters age 50-plus are not confident they are saving enough for retirement.
  • 76 percent feel that candidates’ positions to address rising prescription drug costs are very important.
  • 64 percent think drug companies have a lot of influence over Members of Congress.
  • 83 percent support importation of prescription drugs.
  • 54 percent currently or have previously provided unpaid care for an adult loved one.
  • 86 percent support providing an income tax credit to family caregivers, regardless of whether they are or have been caregivers.
  • 80 percent support requiring employers to provide some paid leave to all employees that can be used for family caregiving purposes.

When asked to rate the performance of elected officials in Washington, D.C., 50 percent of respondents said they approve of the job President Trump is doing while 38 percent disapprove. Congress gets lower marks among members of both parties. Sixty-five percent of those polled disapprove of congressional Democrats, and 53 percent don’t like the job Republicans in Congress are doing.

Senior Citizens are the most consistent voting group out there are these results are encouraging for Donnelly and Team Blue. Meanwhile, Republicans are fretting that Braun isn’t really putting in the effort to win this race:

Mike Braun, the Republican candidate for a crucial Senate seat in Indiana, often refers to his rival, Sen. Joe Donnelly, as “Sleepin' Joe” and has vowed to wake the vulnerable Democrat from his “siesta” on Election Day.

But as Donnelly barnstorms the state in a used RV, it is Braun's own sleepy campaign that's leaving Republicans underwhelmed — and worried.

Groups that typically back GOP candidates, such as the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, are sitting on the sidelines. Braun's recent three-stop “solutions” tour — spread out across three days — was ridiculed by Democrats, who pointed to Donnelly's seven-day, 40-stop trek in August.

And while Braun, a multimillionaire businessman, took out $6.4 million in loans to fund his primary campaign, he also publicly groused about the cost. Now, with less than two months until the election, he has yet to purchase air time for October, while Donnelly has outspent him by almost double on TV and radio since June, records show.

That's cause for concern, according to a half-dozen GOP officials, operatives and commentators familiar with the race, most of whom spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to offer candid assessments of the contest. They say Braun appears to be coasting at a time when he ought to be investing more of his own money and rallying the base.

Conservative talk radio host Rob Kendall summed up the GOP's worries by pointing to Braun's recent appearance with President Donald Trump at a rally in Evansville.

“He's in front of (thousands of) people at the Ford Center and it sounds like you're at a funeral,” said Kendall, who is a producer and has a show on Indianapolis-based WIBC radio. “I would have been like James Brown and the Blues Brothers shouting out 'Do You See the Light' to the congregation. And this guy, you have to check him for a pulse.”

Let’s keep up the momentum and win this race. Click here to donate and get involved with Donnelly’s re-election campaign.

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