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Clinton, Trump in Dead Heat Among Affluent Voters: Survey

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A survey by Phoenix Marketing International found Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are in a dead heat for support from affluent voters. The data is from the Affluent Voter Pulse, part of Phoenix Marketing International’s monthly Global Wealth Monitor. Phoenix surveyed 900 respondents online who had at least $100,000 in investable assets.

Respondents said Trump is more likely to grow the U.S. economy, favoring him over Clinton at 31% versus 28% on that issue. Just 8% of respondents believe Bernie Sanders will do the best job in that regard, and affluent voters favored John Kasich over Ted Cruz.

A similar gap exists on the subject of the United States’ position as a leader in the global economy, but with Clinton ahead at 31% and Trump at 28%. Kasich had the support of 13% of respondents, while Cruz and Sanders tied at 9%.

“Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are pretty much neck and neck in terms of affluent households’ attitudes and feelings that they can handle the economy better than the other candidates,” David Thompson, lead researcher for the survey, told ThinkAdvisor on Wednesday.

Results were a little different among millionaires, though, Thompson said. Millionaires were slightly less likely than the general population to say Trump would be best able to grow the U.S. economy, favoring John Kasich at 20%, he said. Clinton’s favorability dropped slightly to 26%.

On regulating Wall Street, however, respondents showed relatively equal support for Clinton, Trump and Sanders. Twenty-four percent said Clinton would do the best job reining in abuses on Wall Street, followed by 23% who supported Trump and 21% in favor of Sanders.

Sanders has “been a standard bearer for transparency,” Thompson said, “so that is something he would naturally score high on just because of his political background.”

Among millionaires, faith in Trump’s ability to manage Wall Street dropped to 18% to tie with Sanders, Thompson said; support for Clinton dropped slightly to 23%.

“What we’re seeing here is millionaires do tend to have less enthusiasm about Trump’s abilities on both of those indicators,” Thompson said. They were slightly less likely to support Trump’s ability to position the U.S. as a global leader: 26% compared to 28% of the general population.

“The media has been playing up the education level of the average Trump enthusiast,” Thompson said, which “from what I heard and read tends to skew a little lower on the education scale. On the flip side, millionaires tend to be much more highly educated than the general population.”

While 13% of the general population said Kasich would be the best candidate to support the U.S. in the global economy, 18% of millionaires agreed.

The survey found little concern among respondents over the election’s impact on their investment strategy. “Politics doesn’t play into it, or it’s just too early in the election process,” Thompson said, although he added Phoenix will continue to ask about this in the coming months.

Asked about who they would likely vote for, 33% of millionaire respondents said they would likely vote for Clinton and 26% favored Trump. The overall affluent population favored Trump over Clinton at 30% to 29%.

Almost half of respondents said they were following the race closely. Almost all respondents, regardless of wealth, said they were going to vote in the general election. That’s not surprising, Thompson said, as these are “highly educated individuals who have gotten where they are by keeping abreast of what’s going on.”

— Read Voters Say Preserving Social Security Is Top Economic Issue: Poll on ThinkAdvisor.


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