This year’s presidential election is going to be one for the history books, and Colorado will lend its voice in deciding which candidate wins in November. The candidates will need answers for several key issues from now until November, chief among them being Social Security and how they plan to ensure the program remains accessible for future generations of Americans. Regardless of who wins the next election, Social Security should be at the top of their priority list.

Social Security is a vital safety net for hundreds of thousands of Centennial State residents. According to the United States Census Bureau, 15.7% of Coloradans are aged 65 years or older. As we’ve seen from previous election years, this demographic is one of the most involved and active in their politics. During the 2020 election, The Washington Post reported that 35% of Colorado voters were aged between 45 and 65, while 25% of voters were aged 65 or older. So 60% of residents who voted four years ago were directly affected by Social Security, or soon will be. Those voters will be paying close attention to how 2024 could potentially impact the program’s efficacy.

What does this mean for this year’s presidential candidates? It means Social Security is at the forefront of the majority of Colorado voters’ minds. Older residents are watching what’s being said and planned regarding the program’s future very closely. The race has narrowed, and President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have each recently promised they will not introduce cuts to the program that beneficiaries have been paying into for decades as taxpayers. And candidates in Colorado’s eight Congressional districts should also be on notice. If any of these candidates want to be sent to Washington in 2025, they will also need to commit to protecting Social Security for their constituents.

Tom Glass, Former CO State Senator