In the latest edition of the CNBC All-America Survey, Steve Liesman finds some curious nuances in how respondents to the latest edition of poll view the contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
The key finding is that as of this moment, in an "election contested by two of the most disliked candidates in history", Clinton leads Trump by 5 points among poll respondents, 40% to 35%, but with a surprising 14% answering they would vote for neither candidate and 11% still undecided.
Breaking down the Neither voters, Liesman reports that 35% of them are independent, 24% are blue collar, 20% are Sanders supporters (who will likely flip for Hillary), while men aged 18-49 complete the remaining 19%.
The next chart breaks down what respondents view each candidate as best for, with a near even tie when it comes to the Economy, Clinton having a small lead when the topic is Personal Financial Situation, Trump on top by the same margin on Small Business, and also with a modest lead when it comes to Dealing with Terrorism, which however is surprisingly low because as Liesman observes, historically republican candidates hold anywhere between a 10% and 35% lead on security issues topics.
However, the most interesting observations in the survey came to the distinction of what Trump vs Hillary supporters think about investing in general and asset classes in particular.
As Liesman notes, while there hasn't been a material change between the last edition of the poll which took place in March, when it comes to views on whether it is a good or bad time to invest with 32% saying it is a good time now vs 31% three months ago, 40% say it is a bad time now compared to 45% in March. The delta: those who are unsure of what to do - much like the Fed - which have risen from 24% to 28%.
Another curious finding: most Americans though real estate remains "the best investment right now" at 32%, which topped gold in second place with 21%, and oddly stocks were last with only 19%.
Finally, perhaps the most interesting response, as shown in the screengrab below...
... is how do Trump vs Clinton supporters invest:
"[Respondents] are pretty much in agreement on real estate, [but] Trump voters tend to be gold bugs: 31% saying that gold is the best investment to 12% for Clinton voters, and then stocks - Trump voters down on stocks, Clinton voters have a little but more support on equities."
But more than just that, for Trump supporters gold is effectively tied with real estate as the best investment, while Hillary supporters can not stand the precious metal - a stunning split when it comes to voter philosophy on the nature of money and the "traditional" benefits of gold as an asset class.
Perhaps Liesman is right: maybe when one strips away the ideological posturing and the political narratives - all of which will change dramatically once either of the two candidates is elected - what the presidential election boils down to is the public's opinion on hard vs paper money.
The full segment is below.