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Congress' balance of power could be decided by this large and reliable group of women

But a new AARP poll finds that just 17 percent of women who are 50 and older have made up their minds about who they will vote for in the 2022 midterm elections.
A woman casts her vote
A woman casts her vote in Charleston, S.C. on Nov. 3, 2020. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)Michael Ciaglo / Getty Images file

The balance of power in Congress this November could be decided by one of the largest and most reliable groups of voters: Women who are 50 years and older.

But according to a new poll, many of these women have yet to decide which candidates to support.

The AARP poll finds just 17 percent of women this crucial bloc have made up their mind about who they will vote for in 2022 midterm elections. And the majority, 65 percent, say they won’t make decision until weeks or just days before the election. Why? The women surveyed cited instability and uncertainty of the economy, the pandemic and the political environment.

According to the survey, 59 percent said rising prices are the most important economic issue to them personally. Meanwhile, 52 percent of women 50 and older said the economy is not working for them, up 15 points since in 2018.

Mika Brzezinski, co-host of “Morning Joe,” said on Thursday that the numbers will likely force candidates to address quality of life and pocketbook issues, including cost of living and supply chain problems.

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Women who are 50 and over represent 27 percent of registered voters. And turnout for this group has historically been high. In the 2018 and 2020 elections, they cast 30 percent of all ballots. This group of women is closely evenly divide by party, with 45 percent backing Democrats and 44 percent supporting Republicans.

“We know from past elections that women 50-plus turn out in big numbers, making them a very powerful voting bloc,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer. “So it’s critical for our elected leaders and candidates to understand their concerns and priorities heading into November’s election.”

The poll was conducted online and over the phone between Feb. 18 and March 3. It included 1,836 voters ages 50 and up who are likely to vote in 2022. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.29 points.