With the U.S. presidential campaign in full swing, here's another election tidbit for political buffs on both sides of the aisle -- who you support for president may be directly tied to your personal credit health.
According to a new survey from WalletHub, approximately 60% of Ohio Governor John Kasich supporters have excellent credit scores -- the highest percentage of any candidate. The supporters of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who just announced the suspension of his campaign, came in second, with 58% boasting excellent credit.
On the other end of the scale, delegate-wise, are the candidates at the top of most ballot counts. According to WalletHub, about 26% of Hillary Clinton supporters have bad credit, the most of any candidate. Some 22% and 20% of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders supporters and Republican delegate leader Donald Trump supporters have bad credit, respectively.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has the most supporters in "fair credit" credit range -- almost one out of five.
In general, Republican-oriented voters were older and wealthier than supporters of Democrat Party candidates and thus had had stronger credit, according to Jill Gonzalez, an analyst at WalletHub. "Typically, the higher a consumer's credit score, the higher their income level," Gonzales says. "High credit scores also skew to an older demographic, since length of open credit lines plays a major role in the overall score. Thus, we can make a couple of socio-demographic assumptions based on this survey. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, for instance, seem to have younger voters who are probably in the middle to lower tier of earners, while the opposite can be assumed about John Kasich and Marco Rubio."
Tying political affiliations into credit scores is no easy trick. In fact, some say it really can't be done. "On more than one occasion, I consulted with banks concerned about complying with redlining laws such as the Community Reinvestment Act," says Kevin Haney, owner of A.S.K. Benefit Solutions in the greater New York City area whose background includes a decade with a major credit bureau. "Banks needed to demonstrate using statistical data that their underwriting process did not unfairly discriminate against any protected minority groups."
That proved to be an "impossible" task, Haney says. "Credit scores do not utilize any information regarding a person's age, race, creed, color, or gender," he explains. "They do not use individual and neighborhood demographics. They are completely objective and only consider information about a person's borrowing and payment behavior history, even as the scores do correlate with membership in certain population segments."
But at least on a general level, maybe you can break down political partisans on a credit basis. "I suspect wealthier people have higher credit scores and wealthier people tend to be Republican and Conservative," says Bruce Ailion, owner of an Atlanta-based real estate firm. "You can look at geographic areas and see how people are registered and see how much they contribute and to which parties or candidates."
"Wealthier neighborhoods tend to be Republican and people with money usually can pay their bills," he adds.
Obviously, it's not fair to pigeonhole anyone's financial status on a cultural basis -- everyone, after all, has a unique money story to tell. But if you think about it, that's pretty much what credit reporting agencies do when they issue individual credit scores.
It turns out you can do that in politics, too, as WalletHub demonstrates. That's good news for Kasich followers, who enjoy those higher credit scores, but not so much for party standard bearers Clinton and Trump -- at least on the credit score front.