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New York's 1st Congressional District Candidates Make Case to 50+ Voters

Rep. Bishop & Altschuler Address Changes to Medicare & Social Security at AARP & WSHU Forum

RIVERHEAD, N.Y., Oct. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New York's 1st Congressional District has the eyes of the nation upon it as incumbent, Congressman Tim Bishop, is neck-in-neck with Randy Altschuler for the seat.  As the candidates continue to focus on Medicare, they also have the keen attention of Long Island's powerhouse voting group, voters age 50 and older. Tonight, both candidates made their case on the future of Medicare and Social Security to the demographic that will likely determine who wins come Election Day. 

AARP has over 120,000 members in the district, and Long Island represents the largest suburban population of AARP members in the nation at over 700,000.  This age group consistently accounts for the largest voting demographic in every city, state and national election.

With the Long Island Aquarium as the backdrop, Rep. Bishop and Altschuler went toe-to-toe on the issues, addressing a packed house of constituents at a forum sponsored by AARP New York and WSHU Public Radio.  Key issues on the minds of 50-plus voters were the focal point of the event, and with good reason, according to a recent AARP survey of 50-plus voters in the 1st Congressional District, most (63%) say the state's economy is in bad shape, with about 80% saying they now expect to be even more reliant on Social Security and Medicare.

The survey also revealed less than one-third of survey respondents feel very confident they'll be able to retire at some point and the age group is looking to the candidates for answers.  About three-quarters of those surveyed have said the candidates for Congress have done a poor job of explaining their plans on Social Security and Medicare. The full survey can be found on-line: http://bit.ly/aarpCD1.

Based on exit polling in New York from the last two presidential elections, the state's 50-plus vote is on track to account for roughly 40% of all votes cast.  In 2004 the state's 50 plus vote made up 41% of the electorate and in 2008, they totaled 38% of all votes cast.

Without Social Security, over one-third of older New Yorkers would fall into poverty and without Medicare; many would be unable to afford the health care they need.

The 1st Congressional District Candidate Forum is a part of AARP's You've Earned a Say, a national conversation to bring the debate on Social Security and Medicare out from behind closed doors in Washington and help people have a voice in the future of the programs.  Over the last year, AARP has travelled across New York helping to move the debate beyond political jargon and spin. More information can be found on-line: www.earnedasay.org.

AARP has over 2.7 million members in New York.

Follow us on Twitter:  @AARPNY and Facebook: AARP New York

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole.  AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates.  We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org.  AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors.  We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

SOURCE AARP New York State

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