Presidential election 'biggest threat' to U.S. economy for most Americans

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The vast majority of Americans see the upcoming presidential election as the single greatest threat to the country's economic well-being, according to a new report published Tuesday by Bankrate.

About 6 in 10 Democrats and 7 in 10 Republicans said "the outcome of the presidential election" would be the "biggest threat to the U.S. economy over the next six months" out of more than 1,000 respondents surveyed in Bankrate's latest poll.

About 12 percent of all respondents said "terrorism" was their largest concern, while 9 percent cited "struggling overseas economies" and 8 percent worried over a "decline in the stock market."

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A view of the atrium of the Trump International Hotel on its "soft opening" day in Washington, U.S., September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A view of the lobby of the Trump International Hotel on its "soft opening" day in Washington, U.S., September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A bottle of "Trump" champagne in a guest room at the Trump International Hotel on its "soft opening" day in Washington, U.S., September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
In a nod to its roots, an old mail chute remains on the wall in the lobby of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, U.S., September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A waiter pours "Trump" champagne for the first guests to arrive at the Trump International Hotel on its "soft opening" day in Washington, U.S., September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
The atrium of the Trump International Hotel is seen on its "soft opening" day in Washington, U.S., September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Blake and Elanie Yturralde of Florida, the first guests to check-in at the Trump International Hotel, share a toast on its "soft opening" day in Washington, U.S., September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A doorman stands at an entrance to the Trump International Hotel on its "soft opening" day in Washington, U.S., September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A waiter opens a bottle of "Trump" champagne for the first guests to arrive at the Trump International Hotel on its "soft opening" day in Washington, U.S., September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Cars pass the the new Trump International Hotel on it's opening day in Washington September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Protesters hold signs outside the new Trump International Hotel on it's opening day in Washington September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A window washer works atop the glass atrium over the lobby of the Trump International Hotel on its "soft opening" day in Washington, U.S., September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Protesters hold signs outside the new Trump International Hotel on it's opening day in Washington September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A security guard walks behind protesters holding signs outside the new Trump International Hotel on it's opening day in Washington September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Flags fly above the entrance to the new Trump International Hotel on it's opening day in Washington September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Protesters hold signs outside the new Trump International Hotel on it's opening day in Washington September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Workers stand outside the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., August 26, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Sherrie Black of Washington D.C. protests outside the new Trump International Hotel on it's opening day in Washington, September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 12: The Trump International Hotel opens on September 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/WireImage)
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"Surprisingly, the outcome of the presidential election was the runaway choice as the biggest threat to the economy over the next 6 months among every age group, income group, ethnic group, political affiliation, and regardless of gender," Bankrate said in a press release Tuesday. "Older millennials, those ages 26-35, and younger baby boomers, ages 52-61, were most likely to name this as the biggest threat economically."

Bankrate also tracked Americans' sense of financial security, the results of which help explain why so many respondents feel so antsy about the election. The company's Financial Security Index, which surveys Americans' feelings about personal debt, savings, net worth and job security, dropped in September to its lowest level in more than two years. With so many across the country on edge over their own finances, it's not surprising to see anxiety over such a significant and contentious upcoming election.

"[P]olitical uncertainty is at an especially high level, and the negative rhetoric of the U.S. presidential election continues to escalate," Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at research and analysis company IHS Markit, said in a statement Monday, indicating "political uncertainty" at home and abroad will likely "threaten [the] global economic outlook" in the months ahead.

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The Bankrate study is hardly the first release to suggest Americans are concerned over the economic repercussions of November's presidential vote. A Moody's Analytics report published earlier this year speculated that a "lengthy recession" would be sparked if GOP nominee Donald Trump emerged victorious on Election Day. A separate study from the National Center for Policy Analysis found that "every government job created by [Democratic nominee] Hillary [Clinton] would eventually cost nearly 5 private sector jobs."

But it's interesting to see more Republicans concerned about the economy under a hypothetical President Clinton than the other way around, considering Trump's proposals have received more condemnation from practicing economists than Clinton's. About 55 percent of National Association of Business Economics members surveyed last month indicated Clinton would most effectively manage the economy. About 15 percent said Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson would be America's best bet, while only 14 percent said they backed Trump.

A separate survey of Fortune 500 CEOs published earlier this year showed 58 percent backing Clinton, compared to Trump's 42 percent.

Consumers, meanwhile, have largely been split on whether Trump or Clinton would be better for economic well-being. About 30 percent of respondents to an August poll conducted by the University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers outfit said a Clinton victory would increase their personal financial prospects. Thirty-one percent said the same of Trump, while 39 percent said the election results "wouldn't make any difference."

The same survey found that 34 percent of respondents thought Clinton would be best for the economy, compared to Trump's 30 percent. The most popular answer, though, was that the election results would make "no difference" to the economy.

statement earlier this year, indicating "many business owners could be hesitant to make decisions affecting the long-term during such an ambiguous time."

Copyright 2016 U.S. News & World Report

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