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Bipartisan Bah Humbug? How Politics Persuade Shoppers to Vote With Their Wallets

Americans believe that last week’s presidential election will have an impact on many aspects of their lives—and many plan on ramping up or reining in their holiday shopping accordingly.

A recent report from Amazon selling platform Jungle Scout revealed marked differences in the ways Trump and Biden supporters will approach spending this season.

On Saturday, former Vice President Joe Biden clinched the election after four days of ballot counting and nail biting across the country. But prior to the announcement of those results, 32 percent of the current president’s supporters said they would spend less on gifts for their loved ones or themselves this season if Biden were to win.

“If the Democrats and Biden win, I think the economy will take a long time to recover,” one Trump voter told Jungle Scout in October, citing Covid retail restrictions that could see workers laid off. However, 47 percent of Trump voters said their spending would not change with the news, and 8 percent said they’d shell out more.

Conversely, 22 percent of the now-president-elect’s supporters said they would spend more on holiday goodies upon his victory. Sixty-five percent said they would stay the course on purchasing decisions, and 7 percent said they would pull back on shopping. One Biden voter said his victory would reinvigorate spending by contributing to a sense of hopefulness about the future.

If President Trump had been re-elected to a second term, Biden supporters’ spending would have been similarly impacted. Prior to the election, 29 percent of the Democratic candidate’s fans said they would trim holiday spending upon a Trump win, while 53 percent said they would shop as planned.

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While the country may be staunchly divided, Americans across the political spectrum are struggling amid the economic impacts of the Covid crisis—and are fervently hoping for government intervention.

Both Trump and Biden voters plan to pull back on spending if Congress does not approve a new stimulus package this holiday season, with 24 percent of respondents in each camp saying a lack of legislation would impact their purchasing decisions.

Notably, 13 percent of President Trump’s supporters said they would actually increase spending in the event that government aid does not come through, while just 8 percent of Biden supporters said the same. Sixty percent of Biden voters and 51 percent of Trump voters said their plans for spending would remain the same in the absence of a new stimulus bill. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed a desire to come to a deal before the year’s end.

But in the meantime, both consumer camps are already acting more frugal, with 45 percent of Trumpers spending more cautiously over the past three months and 50 percent of Bidenites doing the same.

According to Jungle Scout, Biden voters are more likely to have shopped on Amazon, Etsy and at Macy’s, as well as Google Shopping, while Trump voters are more likely to have shopped on eBay, Houzz, and social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. More Biden supporters (61 percent) shop online weekly than Trump supporters (56 percent).