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Poll: Investors have a preferred candidate in the 2020 election

October 26, 2020, 7:37 PM UTC

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Wall Street is notorious for its flip-flopping support between the two parties. It’s less a red or blue thing, and more about green.

Heading into the presidential election, which candidate do investors think will be better for the stock market? To find out, Fortune and SurveyMonkey polled 1,443 investors between October 12 to 13.*

Investors are siding with Trump. By a +12 percentage point margin, investors think Trump (54%) would do a better job growing the stock market than Biden (42%).

That stock-market edge comes despite a recent Goldman Sachs report that finds that a Democrat majority in the White House and Congress is more likely to juice the U.S. and global economy in 2021. Then again, investors may not like that Biden wants to raise capital gains and corporate tax rates. 

Among Americans who don’t invest the verdict is split: 47% say Trump would do a better job growing the stock market, while 47% say Biden.

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Among Republicans, 91% think Trump would do a better job growing the stock market. Meanwhile, 82% of Democrats say Biden. 

But what about the much-sought-after Independent voters? 51% of them say Trump would be better for stocks; 33% say Biden. That’s despite regular polls that show Biden leading Trump among Independents

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During his 2016 run for office, Wall Street widely assumed that Trump would be bad for the markets. But after his win, many investors warmed to Trump—who would go on to enact corporate tax acts in his first year

That faith was shaken at the onset of the pandemic as the S&P 500 Index plunged -34%. The index bottomed out at 2,337 on March 23—just two days before the passage of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in the Senate. As of Monday afternoon, the S&P 500 sits at 3,390 points.

Ultimately, in Trump’s first term the S&P 500 index grew 11.6% on an annualized basis. That’s higher than the annualized return of the past three Republican presidents: Ronald Reagan (10.2%), George H.W. Bush (10.9%), and George W. Bush (-12%). But it’s below the levels seen under Bill Clinton (15.2%) and Barack Obama (13.8%). 

*Methodology: The Fortune-SurveyMonkey poll was conducted among a national sample of 2,246 adults in the U.S. between October 12 and 13. Among those, 1,443 buy or sell stocks. This survey’s modeled error estimate is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The findings have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography.


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