Murphy has big leads among older Black, Hispanic and Asian American voters, but big differences remain

Murphy has big leads among older Black, Hispanic and Asian American voters, but big differences remain

Big gaps in availability, access and affordability among racial and ethnic groups

Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ, November 2, 2021 – There are some things that all older voters agree on, like property taxes being a problem. But on many other issues, there are substantial gaps between different groups of racial and ethnic older voters in New Jersey. According to new results from the FDU Poll, conducted in partnership with AARP, Black, Asian American and Latino voters over age 50 have very different experiences with what public services are available to them, and what problems they face.

While Murphy has a substantial lead among older Black voters, Latino voters and Asian American voters in the state overall, the size of that lead varies widely by group. Seventy-four percent of Black voters over age 50 say they will support him, compared to just ten percent supporting his Republican opponent, Jack Ciattarelli. However, Murphy’s support among Latino voters over age 50 is just 53 percent, with 34 percent supporting Ciattarelli. Murphy’s support among New Jersey’s Asian American voters over age 50 is 63 percent, with 30 percent supporting Ciattarelli.

Overall, 59 percent of all voters age 50 and over say that high quality health care services are “very available” to them. But that availability is not uniformly distributed: 65 percent of White voters say that health care is “very available,” but only 44 percent of Asian American respondents say the same. Similarly, only 22 percent of Asian American voters age 50 and over say that quality mental health services are “very available,” compared with figures in the 30s and 40s among other racial and ethnic groups. On issues like these, older Latino voters are closer in their views to White voters than they are to Black voters.

Older Black New Jerseyans lag in access to community activities and suitable employment. Just 30 percent of Black voters age 50 and over say that social and community activities are “very available” to them, compared with more than 40 percent of other older voters. Similarly, just 20 percent of Black voters say that suitable employment is “very available” to them, compared with 30 percent of all voters over 50.

“Older people from Black, Latino and Asian American communities are telling us that they’re not getting access to the services they need,” said Dan Cassino, a professor of Government and Politics at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the Executive Director of the poll. “The diversity of New Jersey is a strength, but it means that we need to keep everyone in mind when we plan for the delivery of public services.”

Differences between ethnic and racial groups extend to medical decisions about prescription drugs. Overall, a quarter of voters over age 50 in New Jersey say that they’ve skipped filling a prescription in the last two years, but that figure is higher – 34 percent – among Latino respondents. As to why they didn’t fill a prescription, 37 percent of White voters said that it was because of cost. But that figure is 44 percent of older Black voters who didn’t fill a prescription, 46 percent of older Latinos and a whopping 57 percent among Asian Americans over 50.

“More than two out of three New Jerseyans are concerned about affording their prescription medications, with a disproportionate impact on our multicultural communities,” said Stephanie Hunsinger, AARP New Jersey State Director. “Candidates must address the outrageously high price of prescription drugs. No one should have to choose between buying medicine and paying for food or rent.”

Older voters also widely diverge along racial and ethnic lines in which issues they consider to be serious problems in New Jersey. For instance, property taxes are by far the most common concern for White voters age 50 and over, with 69 percent saying it is a “very serious” problem, well outpacing the 48 percent who say crime is a “very serious” problem. Among Black voters, however, property taxes, the availability of affordable housing, racial discrimination and crime are all essentially tied for the most cited concern.

High-speed internet access is another issue on which there are very different opinions across voters. Just 13 percent of White voters age 50 and over say that high-speed internet access is a “very serious” issue, compared to 28 percent of older Black voters, and 36 percent of older Asian American voters. On this matter, once again, older Latino voters fall in-between Black and White voters.

Differences among groups are magnified when combining the proportion of older voters who say an issue is “very” or “somewhat” a serious problem. For instance, 79 percent of older voters say that the availability of affordable housing is a problem, but that figure is 90 percent among older Black and Asian American voters. Similarly, 71 percent of voters age 50 and over say that age discrimination is a problem, but the figure is much higher among Black, Latino and Asian American voters than among White voters.

“If you view older people as a single group, you’re going to miss out on a lot of the issues they face,” said Cassino. “High speed internet access is a great example: on average, most say it is not an issue, but there are a lot of people who just don’t have access at all, and we need to keep that in mind.”

 

 

About AARP New Jersey 

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. AARP New Jersey educates and advocates on behalf of those 50 and older on issues that are important to them, their families and to all Garden State residents. The organization works to strengthen New Jersey communities with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/nj or follow @AARPNJ on social media. 

 

Methodology

The survey was conducted between September 27 and October 3, 2021, using a certified list of registered voters ages 50 years and older in New Jersey. Respondents were randomly chosen from the list, and contacted via live caller telephone interviews, resulting in a main sample of 802 respondents. 486 of the interviews were carried out via landline telephones, with the remainder (319) going to cellular phones.

In addition to the main sample, oversamples were conducted of Black respondents (101), Asian American respondents (101) and Latino respondents (105). These respondents, too, were drawn from registered voter lists, and were contacted via SMS, and completed the survey via a text to web interface. Respondents in the Asian American oversample were given the option of completing the survey in Mandarin, and respondents in the Latino oversample were given the option to complete it in Spanish, though most completed the survey in English. 38 respondents in the Latino oversample completed the survey in Spanish, and 31 respondents in the Asian  American oversample completed it in Mandarin.

These oversamples allow for more accurate comparisons between this and other groups, as well as the calculation of subgroup characteristics that would not be possible in a simple probability sample. Such oversamples necessarily require additional weighting in order to calculate population level values, but the weights used for this are not included in the calculation of design effects, as they do not indicate a divergence between the sample and the population.

The data were weighted to be representative of the population of registered voters 50 and older in New Jersey. The weights used, like all weights, balance the demographic characteristics of the sample to match known population parameters. The weighted results used here are balanced to match parameters for sex, age, and race/ethnicity.

SPSSINC RAKE, an SPSS extension module that simultaneously balances the distributions of all variables using the GENLOG procedure, was used to produce final weights. Weights were trimmed to prevent individual interviews from having too much influence on the final results. The use of these weights in statistical analysis helps to ensure that the demographic characteristics of the sample approximate the demographic characteristics of the target population. The size of these weights is used to construct the measure of design effects, which indicate the extent to which the reported results are being driven by the weights applied to the data, rather than found in the data itself. Simply put, these design effects tell us how many additional respondents would have been needed to get the weighted number of respondents across weighted categories: larger design effects indicate greater levels of under-representation in the data. In this case, calculated design effects are approximately 1.28.

All surveys are subject to sampling error, which is the expected probable difference between interviewing everyone in a population versus a scientific sampling drawn from that population. Sampling error should be adjusted to recognize the effect of weighting the data to better match the population. In this poll, the simple sampling error for 1109 registered voters in New Jersey is +/-2.9 percentage points, at a 95 percent confidence interval. Including the design effects, the margin of error would be +/-3.7 percentage points, though the figure not including them is much more commonly reported.

This error calculation does not take into account other sources of variation inherent in public opinion studies, such as non-response, question wording, differences in translated forms, or context effects. While such errors are known to exist, they are often unquantifiable within a particular survey, and all efforts, such as randomization and extensive pre-testing of items, have been used to minimize them.

 

 

 

Weighted Telephone Sample Characteristicst

1109 Registered Voters in New Jersey, ages 50 and over

Figures do not included respondents who declined to answer the demographic item in question. Figures are weighted to overall state characteristics, and so do not reflect oversamples included in the study.

 

Man                                  46%                 N = 466

Woman                             53%                 N = 533

Some Other Way            1%                  N = 4

 

50-59                                 36%                 N = 400

60-64                                 22%                 N = 247

65-74                                 24%                 N = 265

75+                                     17%                 N = 192

 

Democrat (with leaners)              56%                 N = 529

Independent                                   12%                 N = 111

Republican (with leaners)            32%                 N = 299

 

White                                               70%                 N = 566

Black                                                15%                 N = 123

Hispanic/Latino/a                                        7%                   N = 58

Asian                                                3%                   N = 20

Other/Multi-racial                                       1%                   N = 7

 

HS or Less                                       20%                 N = 200

Some College/Vocational            27%                 N = 258

College degree or more              53%                 N = 306

 

 

 

Region Classifications

Northwest: Hunterdon, Mercer, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren Counties
Northeast: Bergen and Passaic Counties
Urban Core: Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, and Union Counties
South: Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem Counties
Coast: Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth, and Ocean Counties

Question Wording and Order

PD1. Whether you actually took it or not, have you or a family member in your household been prescribed any prescription medication in the past two years?

 

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Don’t Know/Refused [VOL]

PD2. In the last two years, did you ever decide not to fill a prescription that your doctor had given you?

  1. Yes
  2. No [SKIP TO PD11]
  3. Don’t Know/Refused [VOL]

What were the reasons you didn’t fill your prescription? Please tell me any of the reasons you had.

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Don’t Know/Refused [VOL]

[Shuffle Order of Items]

PD3. Cost of Drug

PD4. Didn’t think you needed it

PD5. Side Effects of Drug

PD6. Don’t like taking prescription drugs

PD7. Taking too many drugs already

PD8. Condition Improved

PD9. Something you read or heard about the drug

PD10. Used or Looked into Other Methods of Treatment

Other Prescription Drug items released earlier

 

Governor’s Race and Long-Term Care questions released previously

How serious a problem do you think each of the following issues are for New Jerseyans like you? Please let me know if each is very serious, somewhat serious not very serious, or not at all serious a problem.

  1. Very Serious Problem
  2. Somewhat Serious Problem
  3. Not Very Serious Problem
  4. Not at all Serious Problem
  5. Don’t Know/Refused [Vol]

 [Shuffle Order of Items]

AF1. The availability of affordable housing

AF2. Being able to access suitable transportation

AF3. The availability of social services, such as Meals on Wheels and home health aides

AF4. Crime

AF5. Access to High-Speed Internet at Home

AF6. Ageism, that is stereotyping or discriminating against people based on their age

AF7. The affordability of things other than housing including groceries, utilities, transportation and healthcare

AF8. Property Taxes

AF9. Racial or ethnic discrimination

Thinking specifically about yourself now, how available would you say each of the following is for you? Please let me know if each is very available, somewhat available, not very available or not at all available.

  1. Very Available
  2. Somewhat Available
  3. Not Very Available
  4. Not at all Available
  5. Don’t Know/Refused [Vol]

[Shuffle Order of Items]

AF11. Access to quality health care services, such as primary care doctors, medical specialists and dentists

AF12. Access to quality mental health services

AF13. Access to job training or career development programs

AF14. Access to suitable employment that pays enough to afford the necessities of life

AF15. Access to social and community activities

Retirement Security and Stress Items released previously

 

 

Release Tables

 

 

Race/Ethnicity

 

 

Support in Governor’s Race

White

Black

Asian

Hisp/Lat

Murphy

50

74

63

53

Ciattarelli

37

10

30

34

Someone Else

1

3

2

4

No One

2

1

0

3

Don’t Know/Refused

10

12

5

6

 

 

 

 

Race/Ethnicity

 

 

In the last two years, did you ever decide not to fill a prescription that your doctor had given you?

Overall

White

Black

Asian

Hisp/Lat

Yes

25

25

21

12

34

No

74

74

78

88

65

Don’t Know/Refused

1

1

1

0

1

 

 

 

Race/Ethnicity

 

 

What were the reasons you didn’t fill your prescription?

White

Black

Asian

Hisp/Lat

Cost of Drug

37

44

57

46

Didn’t Think You Needed It

49

41

14

28

Side Effects of Drug

46

44

29

48

Don’t like taking prescription drugs

28

25

12

30

Taking Too Many Drugs Already

13

25

25

35

Condition Improved

42

44

57

46

Something you read or heard about the drug

29

35

29

40

Used or Looked into Other Methods of Treatment

37

32

43

46

 

 

 

 

Race/Ethnicity

 

 

Percent saying “Very Available”

Overall

White

Black

Asian

Hisp/Lat

High Quality Health Care Services

59

65

53

44

58

Social and Community Activities

39

40

30

43

41

Quality Mental Health Services

36

35

36

22

42

Suitable Employment

27

29

20

30

31

Job Training

26

19

24

45

33

 

 

 

 

Race/Ethnicity

 

 

Percent saying “Very Serious Problem”

Overall

White

Black

Asian

Hisp/Lat

Property Taxes

66

69

63

50

60

Crime

51

48

61

48

52

Affordability of other things

49

45

60

37

52

Availability of Affordable Housing

46

41

62

36

49

Racial/Ethnic Discrimination

41

31

61

38

50

Social Services

33

26

43

36

42

Ageism

33

24

43

41

40

Suitable Transportation

31

23

44

42

40

Access to High-Speed Internet

20

13

28

36

25

 

 

 

 

Race/Ethnicity

 

 

Percent saying “Very/Somewhat Serious Problem”

Overall

White

Black

Asian

Hisp/Lat

Property Taxes

92

93

84

93

94

Affordability of other things

87

86

87

87

92

Crime

85

83

89

88

91

Availability of Affordable Housing

79

77

90

90

87

Ageism

71

68

77

87

84

Racial/Ethnic Discrimination

70

66

86

82

88

Social Services

66

62

73

80

82

Suitable Transportation

63

60

68

87

79

Access to High Speed Internet

50

44

65

74

70

 

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