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Who’s the Biggest Danger to Your Dollars?

No matter who they are or where they’re from, most Americans think our next president could wreck our economy faster than anything else.

Americans are more than five times as likely to be worried about politics than terrorists, according to a recent study from Bankrate. Sixty-one percent of Americans believe the biggest threat to our economy is the outcome of the presidential election, while a very distant second place is the 12 percent who say it’s terrorism.

The results hold across all party lines and demographic groups — including gender, age, and income. Which isn’t all that surprising. Earlier this year, a Pew Research poll found that Americans believe we aren’t talking about money enough during the election season. The financial difficulties Americans face, including student loans, credit card debt, and low incomes, are being kicked to the curb for more important things like the candidates’ opinions of each other.

Who would be less bad?

While most people believe the presidential election is the biggest threat to our economy, the study didn’t ask who they were voting for. We reported on a poll from January that revealed most Americans believe none of the presidential candidates are going to help them financially. However, if they had to choose, they felt Republican nominee (but then one of many candidates) Donald Trump would win.

The Bankrate survey specifically reached out to voters in major swing state Ohio. Voters of both parties were worried about the outcome of the election and how it would affect jobs, relationships with other countries around the world, and the national economy overall.

“All these jobs that are going overseas that we’re losing. I think we ought to bring them back,” said Randy Majewski from Port Clinton, Ohio. “Everybody promises to do something about it but no one does, and we have plants closing all over the place.” Majewski is a registered Republican.

Democrat Polly Gerken says Donald Trump winning would be a disaster.

“I cannot let myself imagine that it’s possible that this guy is going to get elected,” she said. “And I suppose that with all the potential for destabilizing relationships across the globe, that can’t be good for the economy. But mostly I’m just afraid of the ugliness he provokes.”

Ohio, which is slightly more red depending on the day of the week, ranks 20th in the nation when it comes to personal debt, according to our analysis. A third of the state has some kind of debt in collections, and Ohioans use about 60 percent of their available credit. To compare, the worst state is Mississippi where almost 45 percent of of the state is in collections. North Dakota is the best state with less than 20 percent of residents in collections.

While the presidential election is the biggest threat to the economy, according to the Bankrate survey, it pushed other important issues just about out of the picture. Terrorism was in a very distant second place with 12 percent, while struggling overseas economies were in third with 9 percent, and a decline in the stock market at 8 percent. An increase in interest rates was fifth with 5 percent.

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