August 14, 2012

Romney or Obama? LPL and FSI Polls Disagree

FSI says advisors see a Romney win, but LPL’s market data seems to paint a different picture

As the presidential race heats up with Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate, recent polls from the Financial Services Institute (FSI) and LPL Financial have reached vastly different conclusions about whether the Republicans will beat President Obama in November.

In a poll released Tuesday, the FSI reported that 53% of nearly 2,400 independent financial advisors believe Romney will win the presidency while 47% of advisors picked incumbent Barack Obama. However, when asked to pick their favorite candidate, 81% of respondents cited Romney.

Click to enlargeLPL Financial’s most recent weekly Wall Street Election Poll, released Aug. 9, reflected a shift toward the Democrats. The market-based poll highlights what the stock market is pricing in about the outcome of the presidential elections in key industrial sectors. After a surge for the Democrats in June, July marked a drift back toward the Republicans before leaning toward the Democrats again in August.

Click to enlarge“Over the past week, the overall market rose,” LPL Financial’s research team wrote in the Aug. 9 report. “Losses in electric utilities and telecom weighed on the Republican index, while solid gains in the Democrat-favored health care facilities and homebuilders industries boosted the Democrat index.”

FSI’s advisors named the economy as the top issue influencing their vote for president, with 63% saying it was more important than the national debt, health care or defense. They also predicted that Republicans will take control of the Senate, capital gains taxes will increase, and equities and the economy will hold steady for the remainder of 2012.

Tuesday’s poll expanded on an election poll FSI conducted in February.

“Independent financial advisors have a unique viewpoint of the intersection of politics and the economy,” said FSI President and CEO Dale Brown in a statement. “This poll shows the economy and taxes are weighing heavily on the minds of advisors and in the planning they do for their clients. They are bracing themselves and their clients for a stagnant economy and an increase in capital gains taxes.”

LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Jeff Kleintop first introduced the Wall Street Election Poll in LPL’s May 7 Weekly Market Commentary.

“Attempting to draw simple conclusions about what the market is saying about the election is fraught with the potential for misinterpretation,” Kleintop wrote. “Instead, there is a better, more analytical way for investors to attempt this kind of potentially rewarding analysis. Analyzing the market by the industries most impacted one way or another by the election outcome can provide more precise insight into what the market is pricing in regarding the election.”

Read the results of an SEI Quick Poll in May at AdvisorOne.

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