Experience Matters for Presidential Candidates, So Where’s the User Experience?

In the last presidential election, one out four voters were members of AARP. And the Iowa caucus rapidly approaching, voters over the age of 50 are proving to be just as important this time around.

According to this Reuter’s article, Iowa’s elderly population is the state’s largest voting constituency and could make or break some presidential hopefuls. (Sen. Hillary Clinton has struggled against Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards in Iowa, yet voters over 60 prefer her by a wide margin.) The Iowa Democratic Party said about 64 percent of those who participated in the 2004 caucus were at least 50 years old.

Not surprisingly, one issue is taking precedence: Health care. While most older Iowa voters claim that they are not set on a candidate, and are “open to persuasion,” all want a candidate with the experience to save America’s failing health care system.

Experience is what seems to be key for these voters over 50, which is a huge group that is traditionally very active, vocal, and engaged in politics. All of the top presidential candidates recognize the need to court elderly voters, but do they also realize that this powerhouse group is also the Internet’s largest and fastest growing constituency? Proving their experience through targeted user experiences online could do the trick in “persuading” these influential voters.

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