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The Gerontologist, Vol 37, Issue 1 15-19, Copyright © 1997 by The Gerontological Society of America


The 1996 election: older voters and implications for policies on aging

RH Binstock
School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.

Aggregate national exit poll data from the 1996 presidential election suggest that voters aged 60 and older were not influenced by age- related policy issues, such as Medicare, any more than younger voters were. Yet, state-level data provide a basis for conjecture (although not a conclusion) that such issues may have influenced the voting decisions of some older voters in 14 states. If so, however, the impact was in Clinton's favor in some states and Dole's favor in others. Now that the election is over, the short-term problem of Medicare Part A will be dealt with swiftly, but a bipartisan commission to deal with the program's long-term issues is problematic. The establishment of such a commission on Social Security is more likely. The President's response to the push by governors and congressional Republicans to turn Medicaid into a block grant program will indicate whether he will move at all to the left of the centrist political position that he assumed throughout 1996.

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Copyright © 1997 by The Gerontological Society of America.