When asked by SEI back in May if they thought Mitt Romney would become the 45th president of the United States, 63% of advisors said the election would likely go to President Barack Obama, despite many of them preferring Romney. In a poll conducted in mid-June, 52% said Romney would win the election.
The percentage of advisors who support Romney as their next president is unchanged at 74%, according to the new poll.
What’s troubling advisors, Steve Onofrio (right), managing director for SEI, told AdvisorOne on Thursday, are the economy and the fiscal cliff. “They think he can handle it better,” he said.
Another possible reason for the increase, Onofrio suggested, is Romney’s naming Paul Ryan as his running mate, bolstering the focus on financial issues.
Although 20% of advisors said they weren’t sure either candidate could actually avoid the fiscal cliff, 56% believe Romney can, and 12% believe Obama can. Nearly 80% said they think Romney’s policies will have a more positive effect on the economy.
When asked if they were better off as advisors now than they were four years ago, advisors were almost evenly split: 49% believe they are better off now and 51% say they are not better off. The poll did not ask if advisors felt they were worse off now than they were four years ago.
More importantly, Onofrio said, is that 68% of advisors think their clients would say they are not better off now. “The economy and the tax situation are becoming more and more of a concern,” he said.
The survey also inquired after clients’ political beliefs. SEI found 86% of advisors believe their clients have the same political views, but they were split on whether that mattered. Fifty-six percent of advisors said they don’t believe their own political views are important to their clients, while 44% believe that they are.