The richer Americans are, the more likely they are to think the economy will thrive under Trump

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
October 01, 2020, 4:28 PM UTC

On the precipice of the 2020 election, America’s middle- and high-income earners are more likely to say the economy will be better under a Donald Trump presidency, according to Economist / YouGov Poll data. 

Nearly half (47%) of registered voters who report a household income between $50,000 and $100,000 say the economy will get better if the incumbent remains in the White House, compared to 39% who say the economy will thrive under a Joe Biden presidency. The spread is even greater among those who report a household income above $100,000 (52% Trump vs. 38% Biden). 

At the other end of the earning spectrum, those who report a household income under $50,000 have more confidence in a Biden economy (43% Biden vs. 36% Trump). 

Overall, registered voters are split on whether the economy will grow under President Trump (41%) or Biden (40%). 

America’s on household incomes of $100,000 or more are also more likely to feel better off financially than they were a year ago (38%), compared to those with a household income between $50,000-$100,000 (30%) or less (21%). These figures are indicative of the pandemic’s economic effects disproportionately hurting those in lower-paying sectors such as hospitality and retail. 

Overall, 45% of voters think the economy is getting worse, while 23% think it’s steady and 24% think it’s getting better. However, deep partisan fault lines appear regarding economic outlook: while about half (51%) of Trump supporters think the economy is getting better, very few Biden supporters  agree (5%). 

About half (48%) of registered voters say their family income is better off now than it was four years ago. 

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to ripple through the economy, however a plurality of American voters (28%) view health care as the most important issue to them, ahead of jobs and the economy (23%). 

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between September 27 - 30, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.8% for the overall sample.  

Image: Getty