New Arizent Research Finds Sharp Polarization Among Financial Services Professionals In Advance of 2020 Presidential Election

Share Article

Survey finds little common ground between Republicans and Democrats on probable outcome, best scenario for the country, or policy priorities.

"Among the more surprising findings is widespread agreement among Democrats and Republicans that having the White House and Congress in the hands of a single party -- albeit their own party -- would be best for the country and for the financial services industry."

A new survey conducted by Arizent, the parent company of American Banker, The Bond Buyer, National Mortgage News, PaymentsSource, and other leading information sources for the financial services industry, finds financial professionals starkly divided by party line over the future of their industries and their country in the weeks leading up to the November presidential election.

Among the 1,201 survey respondents, 82% of registered Democrats predict victory by Joe Biden, with 45% expecting a Democratic sweep of both the White House and Congress. In contrast, 81% of registered Republicans predict the re-election of Donald Trump, and 49% expect the current divided control of the House and Senate to continue. Twenty-eight percent of Republicans expect a Republican sweep.

Among independents, 54% predict a Biden win, while 46% predict a Trump re-election.

The majority of respondents also believe that control of both the executive and legislative branches of government by a single political party would be the best outcome -- for both their industry and the country. In fact, 81% of Democrats feel a Democratic sweep would most benefit the industry compared to 84% of Republicans who feel similarly about the benefit of a Republican sweep. The sentiment is the same when asked which election outcome would be best for the country, with 85% of Democrats and 78% of Republicans preferring a sweep by their own party.

“Among the more surprising findings is widespread agreement among Democrats and Republicans that having the White House and Congress in the hands of a single party -- albeit their own party -- would be best for the country and for the financial services industry,” noted Janet King, Arizent’s Vice President of Research.

Respondents were also sharply split along party lines on the most important policy priorities for the next administration:

  • The national debt is cited as an urgent policy area by 71% of Republicans, but just 26% of Democrats.
  • Climate change is a top priority for 79% of Democrats, but just 10% of Republicans.
  • Racial equality ranks highly among 57% of Democrats as a key policy area but is mentioned by just 14% of Republicans.

Concerns about the conduct of the election itself also expose deep divisions.

  • Seventy-nine percent of Democrats are extremely or very confident of the integrity of an election in which a high percentage of ballots cast may be cast by mail. Just 18% of Republicans say the same thing.
  • More than two-thirds of Democrats (68%) are extremely or very worried about the possibility of foreign government interference impacting the outcome of the election, a concern shared by just 19% of Republicans.

The survey did uncover three areas of consensus:

  • A majority of voters, regardless of party affiliation, think it is likely that a backlog in processing mail-in ballots will delay the results of the 2020 United States presidential election for days or even weeks -- 69% among Republicans, 59% among Independents, and 54% among Democrats.
  • Many respondents worry about a negative impact on their businesses if the results of the 2020 United States presidential election are disputed. Sixty-two percent of Republicans, 58% of independents, and 51% of Democrats expect a negative short-term impact on their business if the outcome is disputed.
  • The vast majority of voters regardless of party affiliation also agree that social media firms and media companies are not doing enough to stop the spread of misinformation and to help protect the integrity of the election. This is a sentiment shared by 88% of Democrats, 80% of Republicans, and 78% of Independents.

The results and implications of this survey are covered in stories today in several Arizent publications, including:

Research Background/Methodology
This survey was conducted online between September 17, 2020, and September 22, 2020, among business leaders and professionals employed by banks, payments firms, mortgage lenders, insurance agents and carriers, municipal finance agencies and advisors, accounting firms, tax preparers, wealth management and financial advisory firms and others. A total of 1,201 U.S. business leaders and professionals completed the survey. The margin of error on a sample size of 1,201 at the 95% confidence level is +/-2.7 percentage points.

For more information on this survey or other Arizent research, contact:

Janet King
Vice President, Research
M 207-807-4806

About Arizent Research
Arizent Research delivers actionable insights through full-service research solutions that leverage their first-party data, subject matter expertise, and highly engaged communities across the banking, payments, mortgage, insurance, municipal finance, accounting, HR/employee benefits and wealth management communities. They conduct research to support original insights and analysis for their various editorial and content brands, as well as custom research programs for clients in the industries they serve.

About Arizent
Arizent is a business information company that advances professional communities by providing insights and analysis and convening industry leaders. The company uses deep industry expertise and a data-driven platform to deliver its services, which include subscriptions, marketing services, live events, and access to Leaders, an executive forum. Arizent also connects business communities through leading financial services brands like American Banker, The Bond Buyer, PaymentsSource, Financial Planning, and National Mortgage News, as well as professional services brands like Accounting Today, Employee Benefit News and Digital Insurance.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Janet King
Email >
Visit website