50+ Women Voters A ‘Force To Be Reckoned With’ In NY Special Election, Says Study

January 31, 2024

Women voters age 50 and older could be “a force to be reckoned with” in the special election on February 13, 2024.

The election is to fill the seat left vacant by George Santos’ expulsion from Congress, according to a new AARP New York-sponsored analysis of voter rolls.

The report by Gotham Government Relations noted that Democratic women 50 and over are the largest subgroup of voters in the 3rd Congressional District, followed by Democratic women under 50. The review of voting rolls showed that among registered voters, 31.6% of older women are likely voters, compared to 11.9% of younger women.

“… Voters 50-plus are likely to comprise three out of every four voters …”

Voters 50-plus are likely to comprise three out of every four voters in the special election for the 3rd CD, which includes parts of Nassau and Queens counties, according to the report.

Democrat Tom Suozzi and Republican Mazi Melesa Pilip face off on Tuesday, February 13, to fill the seat formerly held by Representative George Santos.

Among likely voters, the number of Democratic women and Republican men are approximately equal in Nassau County, with the next largest block being Republican women, according to the report.

Overall, partisan registrants across both sexes were predominantly 50-plus, with an astonishing 68.4% of Republican women being 50 or older.

“While voting in Congressional specials are normally very focused on local matters, the razor-thin margin of control in the U.S. House of Representatives means that there is likely to be an outsized media coverage of the race which could influence turnout,” the report said. “Who wins this race could have an impact on national issues important to older voters like Social Security and family caregiving.”

“… age 50 and older are poised to once again dominate the turnout …”

“Older voters, especially women, are going to play a key role in the election’s outcome,” said Beth Finkel, AARP New York State Director. “We also know that there’s been a surge in people registering as independents. That certainly could play a factor. But one thing is clear. Voters age 50 and older are poised to once again dominate the turnout, bringing key issues like Social Security and caregiving with them to their polling place on Election Day.”

A 2023 AARP-sponsored Gotham report noted that more voters in New York City and Long Island were registering as independents, growing 14.4% between the November 2020 presidential election and May 2023.

Other highlights of the 2024 Gotham study on the 3rd CD included:

  • Voters 50-plus were key in the last election in this district, and likely will be again. Heavy turnout in Nassau County among 50-plus Republican men (66.7%) and to a lesser extent, Republican women (63.5%), was the prime driver in 2022’s general election. Candidates who ignore issues important to the 50-plus like Social Security and family caregiving do so at their own peril.
  • While there is a strong trend of voters to register as independents, it has not yet been demonstrated that these independents are likely voters.
  • Normally, there would be low turnout for a special election despite a large media market. However, tight margins of party control in the U.S. House and few competitors in the news market could draw intense national attention. Turnout could mimic 2022’s general election. Inclement weather could also play a part, affecting Election Day turnout.

To read the full report and learn more visit: www.aarp.org/ny.


AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to the more than 100 million Americans 50-plus and their families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment.

AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/about-aarp.

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