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Republicans and Democrats may be miles apart in their stances on taxes, business regulations, and government safety nets, but there’s at least one money topic a majority of them agree on: the effect the upcoming election could have on the economy.
Three in five Americans said the outcome of the presidential election poses the biggest threat to the economy right now, including 68% of Republicans and 60% of Democrats, according to a survey Bankrate.com published Tuesday.
The survey asked 1,000 adults what they considered the most dire threat to the U.S. economy over the next six months. The election, less than two months away, was a far more common answer than terrorism (12%), struggling overseas economies (9%), a decline in the stock market (8%), and an increase in interest rates (5%). In fact, the outcome of the election was considered the top threat regardless of respondents’ gender, age, income, ethnicity, and education level.
Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have talked at length about economic topics, and aside from a commitment to boosting federal infrastructure spending, the two have vividly contrasting views on how to spur economic improvement. For instance, Trump wants to repeal Obamacare, which he views as an impediment to small businesses, and Clinton would expand the program. While history suggests that presidential winners have a surprisingly small impact on your investment portfolio, the candidates’ proposed tax plans would have starkly different effects, depending on your socioeconomic status.
Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a professor of the practice of public policy communication at the University of Southern California, told Bankrate the survey results weren’t especially surprising, given that the presidential campaign has been dominating news coverage. Bankrate also notes the survey was conducted five days before last week’s stock market drop, which likely would have increased concern over the market.
The bipartisan agreement on the economic threat is perhaps even less surprising when you consider how polarizing both candidates are. The most recent Gallup poll found a roughly even share of Americans have unfavorable opinions of Clinton (57%) and Trump (59%).
Bankrate also reported Tuesday that its financial security index—which is based on questions on how people feel about their debt, savings, and job security—dropped to its lowest level in more than two years. The September index’s dip ended 27 consecutive months in which Americans had reported improved feelings of financial security compared to the previous year.