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election consumer trends

The 2020 Presidential Election & Consumer Spending: Will Biden or Trump Voters Spend More this Holiday Season?

The COVID-19 pandemic, a precarious global economy, and political tension in the runup to the 2020 United States presidential election have set the stage for an unusual holiday shopping season. 

Jungle Scout’s 2020 Consumer Trends Report provides insights into the consumer behaviors we can anticipate as we enter the final stretch of this unprecedented election year.

For one, U.S. consumers say they will significantly modify their holiday spending depending on the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election, and other current political issues including the U.S. Senate race, a new Supreme Court Justice nominee, and a potential new stimulus package may sway American consumer behavior in the coming months.

This report will explore projected holiday spending among U.S. consumers based on these key political events, as well as shopping preferences and behavioral differences between voter segments. 

Key Insights:

  • The outcome of the U.S. Presidential election will cause either a 30% increase OR decrease in voters’ holiday spending — depending on who wins.

  • Trump voters’ holiday spending is more dependent on the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election than Biden voters’, and all consumers’ holiday spending is more likely to change with a Trump presidential victory than with any other political outcome, including a Democratic Senate takeover and a new Supreme Court appointment.

  • If there is no new stimulus package, 23% of U.S. consumers will reduce their 2020 holiday spending.

 

Holiday Spending Projections by Voter Segment

When asked whether or how their holiday would change based on a number of these political scenarios, consumers (and voters) gave the following responses:

How will consumer spending change if Joe Biden wins the election?

  • Among all consumers: 55% the same, with 17% decreasing spending and 14% increasing spending
  • Among Biden voters: 65% the same, with 7% decreasing spending and 22% increasing spending
  • Among Trump voters: 47% the same, with 32% decreasing spending and 8% increasing spending

“If the Democrats and Biden win, I think the economy will take a long time to recover. I think this because they support continuing COVID restrictions, which has a negative economic impact and increases unemployment.” -Trump voter

“If Joe Biden wins the Presidential election, I will feel more optimistic and hopeful about the future, and will be more encouraged to spend, especially if the Democratic Party wins the majority in the Senate.” -Biden voter

How will consumer spending change if Donald Trump wins the election?

  • Among all consumers: 53% the same, with 17% decreasing spending and 17% increasing spending
  • Among Biden voters: 53% the same, with 29% decreasing spending and 6% increasing spending
  • Among Trump voters: 54% the same, with 5% decreasing spending and 32% increasing spending

“If Trump wins i believe there will be major depression and i’ll need to save every penny for who knows how long.” -Biden voter

“I think the economy will get better with President Trump.” -Trump voter

 

How will consumer spending change if the Democratic Party wins the majority of the U.S. Senate seats?

  • Among all consumers: 56% the same, with 13% decreasing spending and 15% increasing spending
  • Among Biden voters: 65% the same, with 4% decreasing spending and 22% increasing spending
  • Among Trump voters: 49% the same, with 25% decreasing spending and 11% increasing spending

“I am already struggling with money. If Biden wins and the Senate flips, I will probably be able to look forward to some sort of government aid, even if it comes in February of next year. If Trump wins, and the Senate doesn’t flip, I know not to expect any.” -Biden voter

How will consumer spending change if Congress does NOT approve a new stimulus package?

  • Among all consumers: 53% the same, with 23% decreasing spending and 10% increasing spending
  • Among Biden voters: 60% the same, with 24% decreasing spending and 8% increasing spending
  • Among Trump voters: 51% the same, with 24% decreasing spending and 13% increasing spending

“I don’t have excess money to spend, no matter who wins or loses, but a new stimulus check would certainly help me and help my local economy.” -undecided voter

“I don’t think that any politics will affect my spending too much, however without some stimulus money I might need to decrease spending.” -Biden voter

How will consumer spending change if Donald Trump appoints a new U.S. Supreme Court Justice in 2020?

  • Among all consumers: 60% the same, with 10% decreasing spending and 14% increasing spending
  • Among Biden voters: 62% the same, with 16% decreasing spending and 10% increasing spending
  • Among Trump voters: 61% the same, with 6% decreasing spending and 22% increasing spending

“As long as we don’t lose our current income, our spending will stay the same.” -Biden voter

*For totals that do not add up to 100%, respondents answered “I don’t know.” 

 

Takeaways:

  • Based on the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election, both Biden voters and Trump voters would adjust their 2020 holiday spending roughly 30% — pending a favorable outcome for their desired presidential candidate, and vice-versa. 
    • Biden voters: 22% would increase their holiday spending if Biden were to win the Presidential election, and 29% would reduce their holiday spending if Trump were to win. 
    • Trump voters: 32% would increase their holiday spending if Trump were to win the Presidential election, and 32% would reduce holiday spending if Biden were to win.
  • Trump voters’ holiday spending is more dependent on the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election than Biden voters’.
  • Both Biden and Trump voters’ holiday spending is more likely to change with a Trump presidential victory than with any other political outcome, including a Democratic Senate takeover and a new Supreme Court appointment.
  • If a new stimulus package does not pass, nearly a quarter of all U.S. consumers (23%) will reduce holiday spending.

 

Consumer Behavior Differences: Biden vs. Trump Voters

Who’s been spending more?

  • Trump voters’ spending has increased slightly more in the past 3 months than Biden voters’. 23% of Trump voters have increased spending and 45% have decreased it compared to 21% of Biden voters who have increased spending and 50% who have decreased spending.

What are they buying?

  • Biden voters have bought more cleaning supplies in the past 3 months than Trump voters. 52% of Biden voters say they have been buying cleaning products compared to 42% of Trump voters. Biden voters are also buying slightly more Beauty & Personal care products and Arts & Crafts products while Trump voters are buying slightly more Toys & Games products and Garden & Outdoor products.

Where do they shop?

  • Biden voters are more likely to have shopped on Amazon, at Target (in-store and online), Etsy.com, Macy’s (in-store and online), and Google Shopping.
  • Trump voters are more likely to have shopped at ebay.com, Houzz, and on social media platforms (such as Facebook and Instagram).
  • For the following stores, Biden voters are more likely to have shopped in-store, and Trump voters are more likely to have shopped online:
    • Best Buy
    • Home Depot
    • Costco
    • Sam’s Club
  • Conversely, Trump voters are more likely to have shopped at Walmart in-store, and Biden voters are more likely to have shopped at Walmart.com.

“My concern about the election is violence from either side depending on outcome of election. If there are lockdowns, looting, etc. – I will definitely shop more on-line.” -Biden voter

Where do they start their online search for products?

  • More Biden voters say Google (75% compared to Trump’s 67%)
  • More Trump voters say Amazon (65% compared to Biden’s 61%)
  • More Trump voters say social media (25% compared to Biden’s 18%)

Who is the bigger online shopper?

  • More Biden voters (61%) shop online weekly than Trump voters (56%), and more Biden voters (18%) shop online daily than Trump voters (13%).

How will they shop for the holidays?

  • As noted above, many Biden voters and Trump voters will increase or reduce their holiday spending depending on the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election, the U.S. Senate race, the Supreme Court Justice nomination and hearings, and more scenarios.
  • Overall, Trump voters plan to spend more on holiday shopping; 38% say they’ll spend over $500, compared to 31% of Biden voters who say the same.
  • Biden voters will give more to parents, pets, friends, siblings, grandparents, and themselves than Trump voters; Trump voters will give to partners/spouses, children, extended family, essential workers, and neighbors more than Biden voters.

Other Consumer Behaviors

Biden voters Trump voters
Care more about product ratings and reviews
Care more about product reviews with photos
Care more about lowest product price
Care more about best features
Would pay more for faster shipping
More likely to leave items in their cart and forget about them
Would consider products recommended to them online
Care more about specific brands
Are more likely to “impulse buy” products
Are more worried about their financial situation
Plan to reduce their spending more on non-essential items in the future
Are more likely to shop on Black Friday
Are more likely to shop on Cyber Monday
Start their holiday shopping earlier

“If Joe Biden wins, I’d be very happy to spend money on gifts for myself, just to celebrate. But, Donald Trump wins re-election, then, I’d feel less willing to celebrate by buying gifts.” -undecided voter

“I don’t let outside circumstances that I have nothing to do with affect my choices and what I spend money on.” -undecided voter

Methodology:

Between October 1-2, 2020, Jungle Scout conducted an anonymous survey among a panel of 1,002 U.S. consumers about their buying preferences and behaviors. Respondents represent every U.S. state, all genders, and ages 18 to 75+, as well as all employment types and varying income levels.

At the conclusion of the survey, respondents were asked to identify by political affiliation (36% Democrat; 34% Republican; 22% Independent; 8% combined “Other” and “Prefer not to answer”) as well as who they were intending to vote for in the U.S. Presidential election (41% Joe Biden; 39% Donald Trump; 20% combined “Undecided,” “Prefer not to answer,” “Do not plan to vote,” or “Plan to vote for a candidate other than Joe Biden or Donald Trump”).

The full report, featuring all consumer trend and behavior insights for more than 1,000 U.S. consumers, will be published in November 2020. Click here to receive yours.

About Jungle Scout

Jungle Scout is the leading all-in-one platform for selling on Amazon, with the mission of providing powerful data and insights to help entrepreneurs and brands grow successful Amazon businesses.

For more information, specific data requests or media assets, or to reach the report’s authors, please contact us at [email protected]

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