If the election were held today — and everyone voted with only their wallet in mind — Donald Trump would probably be the 45th president of the United States. But only on a technicality rivaling the 2000 Bush election.
We came to that conclusion by analyzing the results of a new study from personal finance site GoBankingRates.com, which found nearly 1 in 3 Americans believe The Donald is most likely to make them wealthier. Here are the results:
Even though Trump comes out on top, it’s worth noting the largest percentage of voters think none of these people are going to do much for them financially. Ten months out, it’s hard to say if that’s cynicism or just not knowing what the candidates propose. But thanks to the study’s breakdowns by age, gender, and state, we get some fun insights.
For instance, seniors are pretty evenly split between Trump (33 percent) and Clinton (28 percent) — both oppose raising the retirement age for Social Security. But the 45-54 demographic prefers Trump two-to-one.
Those under 35, especially college-aged students, vastly prefer Sanders. That’s probably because Sanders wants a $15 minimum wage and tuition-free college, as the study notes.
Sanders and Trump carry the most states
The presidential race isn’t a straight popularity contest, although it sometimes seems like one. The winner is determined by the electoral college, a process that cares more about who wins in each state and then doles out votes according to the number of Congressmen it has. (Washington, D.C. also gets three votes.) Since GoBankingRates.com gave us state-by-state winners, we went the extra step of figuring out the electoral college results.
“For ages 45 and over, Trump is the No. 1 pick. Clinton is the No. 2 pick.”GoBankingRates.comBy that metric, Bernie Sanders takes the lead and nearly clinches an outright victory. In the real election, you need 270 votes to win — by our count, he comes up with 269 to Trump’s 249. But with Sanders just one electoral vote shy, the House of Representatives gets to pick among the top three. Guess who the Republican majority would go with: Sanders, Trump, or Clinton?
It definitely could go the other way. In reality nearly every state is winner-take-all, but in the study, a few states voiced equal support for multiple candidates. In those cases, we evenly divided the votes into fractions and then rounded off the final totals. Both Trump and Sanders had the support of 26 states each, sharing wins in Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Texas.
What about the others? Clinton won three states worth 16 electoral votes; Rubio dominated in North Dakota for three votes. Ben Carson shared Hawaii in a bizarre three-way tie with Trump and Sanders, giving each candidate 1.33 of the state’s four votes. Ted Cruz went home empty-handed. If you pretend they all lost in the primaries and pass their support over to Trump and Sanders, Sanders would be the big winner.