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Poll Measures Financial Attitudes By Political Party

[Thursday, August 4th, 2016]

As we approach the next United States presidential election, the mood is a tense one, with people on both sides feeling alienated and angry and tempers running hot. But Lending Tree, an online loan marketplace, wondered whether there would be a difference between people on the right and the left when it comes to folks’ financial savvy – or at least, how they rate their own financial wisdom.

In a survey of 1600 people ages 18 and over, Lending Tree found that how people felt about the candidates didn’t have much correlation with their financial standing. For the most part, the same number of people rated themselves similarly in each political party.

Questions included, “Which party’s candidates do you generally vote for?” and “How would you rate your own financial knowledge?” Republicans, or Red voters, made up 32% of the respondents, while Democrats, or Blue voters, accounted for 44%. Thirteen percent said they don’t vote along party lines, 6% had never voted before, and the remaining 5% were independent voters.

Twenty-five percent of Republicans said they consider themselves “very knowledgeable” about financial matters, while 23% of Democrats said the same. Fifty-six percent of Red folks said they were “somewhat knowledgeable,” and 54% of Blue voters rated themselves as “somewhat knowledgeable.”

Interestingly, both parties were likely to consider themselves more knowledgeable than the average American. About 60% of Republicans said they were “above average” in their financial savvy, while 50% of Democrats felt superior to the average American when it comes to money matters.

As far as being financially responsible, 45% of Republicans said they are “very” responsible, while 42% of Democrats are feeling good about how financially responsible they are. Another 40% or so in each party said they were “somewhat” financially responsible. And both parties again felt superior to the “average” person, rating themselves above average in financial responsibility at a rate of 60% (Democrats) and 66% (Republicans).

When Lending Tree looked at credit scores state-by-state, to determine whether people were in fact as financially responsible as they claimed to be, they found that Democrats had substantially higher credit scores than Republicans in every state. Blue states tended to have overall better credit, with Hawaii and California, traditionally Blue voter states, taking two of the top three spots for states with great credit scores.

The survey was conducted via SurveyMonkey, an online polling service, between June 9 and 14, 2016.

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