For years, it has simply been assumed – no questions asked – that people grow more conservative politically as they age. Now, however, that assumption has been “put to the test” and been proven to be “accurate.”
A Zogby International survey which contacted 41,175 respondents found that nearly half of the subjects who were 50 years of age or older indicated that their political views had veered rightward as they aged. The comparable figure for respondents aged 18 – 34 was, however, less than 30 per cent.
And no matter how they might align themselves politically, older Americans vote in higher proportions than do their younger counterparts, a fact which grants them an outsized impact on the political process. This pattern has been the norm for decades. The percentage of persons 65 years and older who voted in 2002 was 61% while the comparable statistic across all age groupings was only 42.3%. In 1974, these percentages were 51/4% and 44.7%, respectively.
It is hard to know what factors stand responsible for seniors showing up at the polls in such consistently high numbers. Possibly, they have accumulated assets over the years and want to elect candidates they believe with protect their financial security. Or, as some researchers have claimed, voting might simply be a well-established habit for them.
But does the fact that older Americans self-identify as being conservative necessarily mean they are clinging to “the old ways” in all aspects of their lives. Rather, research has that is hot always the case, concluding that even centenarians are utilizing technologies, such as cell phones, often thought to be the domain of a younger generation in unexpected numbers.
For more information about aging gracefully
, read Rounding the Circle of Love: Growing Up As She Grows Old, which is being sold through Amazon.