It’s the economy for Florida voters

By Stephanie Carroll Carson, Florida News Connection…

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida is seen as a swing state in this 2012 presidential election, and political experts say senior citizens could be the ones to swing the vote in the Sunshine State. A study released this week found that economic anxieties are the number-one issue for non-retired baby boomers, with 75 percent of respondents saying it’s a top concern.

Political expert Bob Hall examined the research and says seniors are looking for candidates to support their views on issues important to them.

“Seniors are the most active voters. Seniors are up for grabs, really. So, how they’re going to behave in this election will be crucial.”

The survey, conducted by AARP, found that concerns for seniors go far beyond just job creation, and instead respondents indicated concern about general financial security. Cutting across party lines, 91 percent of respondents said the next President and Congress need to strengthen Social Security.

Nancy LeaMond with AARP says their research also points to the fact that seniors are among those paying the closest attention to candidates’ messages, and therefore may be the most willing to change their vote based on the issues.

“They show up on election day, and they also care a lot about being well-educated on where candidates stand. We think that candidates ignore the 50-plus vote to their peril.”

According to USA Today, President Obama and and Republican candidate Mitt Romney have spent $350 million in nine swing states, including Florida, so far.

LeaMond says their research shows that ads focusing on issues facing seniors will give candidates the most bang for their buck.

The full AARP study is available at