Last updated: 05:05 PM ET, Sat December 05 2015

Survey Reveals US Traveler Presidential Picks

Features & Advice | Michael Isenbek | December 05, 2015

Survey Reveals US Traveler Presidential Picks

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U.S. travelers are keen to vote in the next presidential election, and if American globetrotters went to the polls today, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton would be in the lead, according to a recent MMGY Global survey.

MMGY Global, travel’s largest integrated marketing firm, conducts its “travelhorizons” survey on a quarterly basis, to discern “Americans’ travel intentions viewed through the lens of emerging economic, social and political developments,” according to the company. This latest query occurred October 19-27, 2015 and the results were released at the end of November.

Regarding the 2016 election, MMGY polled 1,800 U.S. citizens designated as “active travelers” — defined by the company as someone who stayed overnight at a location greater than 75 miles away from home at least once in the past year.

And per the numbers, active travelers will be heading to the polls en masse — 95 percent of those who identified as Democrat and 97 percent of those who identified as Republican.

Peter Yesawich, vice chairman of MMGY Global and expert on the habits and preferences of American travelers, provided insight into this overwhelming majority of voting globetrotters, stating, “The demographic profile of active travelers — higher level of education and annual household income than the population of non-travelers — suggests these individuals are generally more enlightened and engaged, hence their interest in both politics and the presidential election.”

In terms of political parties, the survey found that active travelers are most likely to be Democrat (42 percent) with slightly less identifying as Independent (30 percent), followed by Republican (28 percent).

“Republican travelers are outnumbered considerably,” Yesawich pointed out, adding, “this represents the actual distribution of travelers by political affiliation in the general U.S. population according to our estimates.”  

Though Yesawich did provide a caveat, stating, “It's important to note that only 60 percent of U.S. adults are ‘active travelers.’”

Then the big question — the active traveler’s choice in 2016’s presidential election.

The travelhorizons survey found that 28 percent of Republican travelers would vote for Donald Trump, with Ben Carson coming in second with 17 percent. Hillary Clinton got the nod from 42 percent of Democrat travelers, and Bernie Sanders took second with 22 percent of the vote.

Given the complexities of politics, Yesawich stated that MMGY "(couldn’t) speculate as to the reasons why” travelers made these candidate choices, and acknowledged the fluid nature of the presidential race, saying, “these estimates clearly change over time, as demonstrated by the evolving results of the national polls — which include both active travelers and non-travelers.”

Indeed, there is change over time. In the survey’s third spot behind Bernie Sanders on the Democrat side is Joe Biden, who announced that he would not be running for president before the results were published.

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