COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSPD) -- Ohioans over the age of 50 make up two-thirds of the voters who will case a ballot this November. AARP of Ohio released a survey of those voters to see which issues were most important to them in the race for Ohio governor.
The economy is the top issue with most Ohioans. Among those over 50, about 59 percent feel that Ohio's economy is doing good. Meanwhile, 64 percent say their own personal finances aren't keeping pace.
"So while the state overall is doing well they personally feel like they're falling behind the cost of living," said AARP of Ohio's Kathy Keller.
55 percent of those over 50 that are still working say they've postponed retirement.
The survey’s “Anxiety Index” shows that across party lines, older voters, and particularly those who are not retired, feel anxious about their financial security. 82 percent worry about affordable utilities, 59 percent say paying too much in taxes is a concern, and 56 percent say costs are rising faster than their incomes.
The majority of Ohio voters older than 50 use landline phone service nearly always or most of the time, and seven in ten believe the next governor should preserve this access.
Voters overwhelmingly want to live independently as they age and see this as a critical election issue, with 72 percent saying at-home care should be a priority for elected officials. That percentage rises to 79 percent of Ohio likely voters older than 50 in caregiver households.
Almost 8 in 10 of Ohio’s likely 50+ voters say that assisting older Ohioans and the disabled to live independently is a very or fairly important issue and will help them make voting decisions this year.
Ohio likely voters age 50+ indicate near universal support to shift additional federal funding from institutional to in-home care. Eighty percent say they support shifting the funding so that more people can receive services at home, with 7 percent in opposition.
Governor John Kasich holds a 15-point lead in the gubernatorial race among likely voters age 50+, with 15 still undecided. In a trial heat, 50 percent said they support Kasich with 30 percent saying they definitely will vote for him. Thirty-five percent of voters back Democratic candidate Ed Fitzgerald, with 24 percent saying they definitely will vote for him.
Among Ohio’s undecided voters, 42 percent say it is hard to find objective and reliable information about the record and positions of candidates running for office this November.
President Barack Obama gets a thumbs down from 53 percent of Ohioans over the age of 50.
The survey was done statewide by calling 801 likely 2014 voters over the age of 50 using both cell phones and landlines. The margin of error was ±3.5 percentage points.