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Quick Question: Are you feeling more or less optimistic after the election?
posted 11.13.2012

Last week Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term as President of the United States. The country also saw a record number of women elected to Congress, and four states (Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington) for the first time passed ballot measures in favor of LGBT marriage equality. So we wondered, based on the election results, if you were feeling more or less optimistic about the future of aging in America? There's no doubt the question was on your minds, as the response was overwhelmingly higher than for other recent quick questions and opinions ran the gamut, but 64% of respondents reported feeling more optimistic and 34% feeling less optimistic following the election. We received many hundreds of comments, of which the following are representative:

We must focus on serving seniors and not be caught up in the divided issues. Seniors are our mission!

I think it's good that we continue in the same direction we have been going the last four years. I think that building on the foundation of what the current presidential administration has already accomplished is going to be extremely beneficial to aging Americans.

Our country is changing. We must embrace it.

The country is too far in debt. I am concerned that this debt will effect subsidized housing/health care etc.. Our country is going to have to pay off that debt. It cannot keep going in debt and still fund the poor and vulnerable.

Regardless of who is in the White House or who is in Congress, as long as Democrats and Republicans continue to refuse to work together nothing will be accomplished.

Now that the election is over, campaign signs are being recycled and television commercials have returned to their regularly scheduled programming—and we must also decide how to move forward, united in our commitment to older adults and our increasingly diverse, aging society.

We are planning the opening general session at the 2013 Aging in America Conference, 2013 Political Landscape: Post Election Implications based on last week’s election results. Attendees will join moderator, Robert Blancato, MPA, and a group of prominent individuals in policy and politics for an analysis of the 2012 election and where we, as professionals in the field of aging, go from here.

Additional Resources

What Obama’s Re-Election Means for Caregivers
by Sherri Snelling
Route 360, nextavenue 

Election Means New Leaders on Aging Policy
National Council on Aging

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Washington State University
Pullman, WA
Los Angeles LGBT Center
Los Angeles, CA
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