As November gets closer, a new report conducted by Credit Karma reveals money-related issues are top of mind for voters, compounded by recent financial strains of the pandemic.
“Between the pandemic, historic unemployment numbers and rising economic uncertainty, it’s no surprise many Americans are starting to see how their vote directly impacts their finances,” said Kenneth Lin, founder and chief executive officer of Credit Karma. “With over one in three people saying their financial situation has worsened since the start of the pandemic, we know that people are thinking long term about what their vote means for their financial stability. Economic recovery is the top issue driving voters to the polls this year.”
Beyond playing a huge role in deciding if they will vote, the survey found financial situations are also contributing to how Americans will vote in the election. Nearly 40 percent of respondents told Credit Karma that finances will be the primary driver behind why they will vote this year while 25 percent said current financial situations will cause them to change how they typically vote.
In fact, respondents said an economic recovery was the top issue as they considered voting, followed by health-care reform, racial injustice, human rights and taxes.
At the same time, Lin said Americans are shifting how they are spending and saving. “We’re seeing historic unemployment numbers and saving money if you’ve been laid off or furloughed isn’t easy,” Lin said. “Many Americans have become more thoughtful about how they spend and save their money, prioritizing necessities, like rent and groceries.”
Still, Lin said, “if there’s a silver lining to this pandemic, it’s that people will hopefully pay more attention to improving their money management habits, prioritizing savings, not spending beyond their means and preparing for the unimaginable. We’ve seen that the pandemic is redefining what Americans feel they need to spend money on, and it has affected how many Americans track and plan their finances.”
“For instance, 78 percent of consumers said they developed a new personal finance habit during the pandemic, like keeping a budget, that they’re planning to continue once COVID-19 subsides, which we see as a great start,” Lin said. “These good habits will be increasingly important as we head into the holiday season which is typically a bigger spending moment for many Americans.”
In light of these findings and Credit Karma’s mission of financial progress, the company has launched a Voter Roadmap initiative in partnership with VoteAmerica. “We firmly believe financial progress is directly tied to civic progress,” Lin said. “[The] initiative that will leverage our platform to help our more than 90 million members in the U.S. register to vote and create a voting plan.”
On the Voter Roadmap, Credit Karma members are guided to register to vote and make a plan for the 2020 election.
For More WWD Business News: