The days of reckoning are coming. Before some Americans even fully digest their holiday dinners or finish opening their presents, some of us (read: those in the five key early primary and caucus states) will begin the process of selecting a nominee for president.
The process this year, unlike in years past, will not only start earlier but will include new and different states. Newcomers like Nevada will play a part in shaping these decisions, bringing a broader range of voters than before into the process. This is also the first time since 1968 that there is no incumbent running, leaving a very crowded field in both parties.
Another big component that changes the dynamics is the plethora of online information. It's everywhere. This, however, doesn't have to be overwhelming. It can bring clarity to the process and help guide your decisions. Information is power! And no doubt many millions of Americans will Google their short list of candidates and the issues they care most about before they make their final decisions.
Divided We Fail has conducted a great deal of research to identify the domestic issues we know voters care about. In Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, Florida, and across the nation, AARP members care most about health and financial security. Our members are not alone. Our allies in this endeavor, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Business Roundtable and the National Federation of Independent Businesses, all share members who are also very concerned about these issues.
And so, as a service to the more than 53 million Americans that these groups represent, and the millions more who feel exactly as they do--we have developed an important booklet along with our allies that lays out where each of the candidates from both political parties stands on these key issues.
The booklet, "In Their Own Words: 2008 Presidential Candidates on Health Care and Financial Security"[PDF] informs our members about exactly where the candidates stand on the Divided We Fail platform issues in their own words -- without commentary and without editorializing. Divided We Fail's goal is simple: to educate voters about the candidate's stances on our issues to drive action and answers. It should also be noted that AARP is non-partisan and does not endorse candidates.
We combed through all the candidates' websites, press releases, speeches, advertisements and policy proposals and packed "In Their Own Words" with as much information as we could find on all of our issues--affordable health care, wellness & prevention, long-term care, Social Security, saving & working, and financial literacy.
Oh, and people are going to see it. Of that there is no doubt. The December issue of AARP Bulletin reaches 23.5 million households and includes a side-by-side look at the presidential candidates' positions on affordable health care. We have also already mailed it to those who will be making the early decisions: 45,011 households in Iowa and 48,155 households in New Hampshire. We also have plans to mail 120,475 households in South Carolina, 72,285 in Nevada and 153,740 Florida in the coming weeks.
But let's say you don't live in any of those early states. You still have the power to learn about the issues you care about. Just click here.