NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
The nation's investors give Democratic presidential contender John Kerry a slight edge over President Bush, according to a new poll that also shows health care costs and deficit reduction are investors' most pressing concerns.
|This article, published Feb. 29 based on Money magazine's release of the results from its first investor poll on the presidential race, incorrectly drew distinctions about the concerns of investors from different income groups. While the total number of investors polled was large enough to create a statistically valid survey, comparisons among subsets of investors should not have been cited.
A poll conducted by Money magazine and International Communications Research (IRC) shows 41 percent of the investors surveyed favor the senator from Massachusetts, while 40 percent favor the president. With the about 3 percent margin of error, the result is a toss-up between the two candidates.
"We think investor households -- which may account for as many as 125 million Americans -- are absolutely worth watching, not least because they might surprise us this year," said Money magazine's Managing Editor Bob Safian.
The Money/ICR poll also says the so-called "investor class" feels that containing health care costs and the deficit are far more pressing economic concerns for the country than cutting taxes.
"We've found that the most affluent investors -- the only segment where a majority says they're better off than they were a year ago -- also tell us in great numbers that they are much more worried about the deficit and paying for their health care than they are about tax cuts," he added.
A resounding 44 percent of investors polled say containing health care costs is the nation's most pressing economic concern. Controlling the deficit slid in at No. 2 with 30 percent of those polled while cutting taxes finished with 11 percent.
Paying for their own healthcare, the poll suggests, is investors' biggest personal concern. Fifty-five percent of all investors, ranging from households making less than $25,000 to those making $75,000 or more, agree that paying for health care is much more worrisome than losing their jobs, paying their debt or losing money in the market.
The mounting deficit is particularly worrisome to more affluent investors. Thirty-two percent of middle-class investors, or households with an income between $50,000 to $75,000, and 35 percent of affluent investors, or those with incomes over $75,000, picked deficit control as the most pressing issue.
Overall, 40 percent of investors say their personal financial situation is better than it was a year ago, 17 percent report they are worse off, and 42 percent say that their situation is about the same.
Only among the most affluent group of investors -- those with a household income of $75,000 or more -- did a slight majority of 53 percent report that they are better off than they were a year ago.
"Investors" for the ICR study were defined as anyone who said yes to the following question: "Do you have or own stocks, mutual funds, bonds, a 401(k) account or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)?"
The Money/ICR poll was conducted with a nationwide sample of 556 male and female investors and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.08 percent.
Money magazine, co-owner of CNN/Money, is a part of Time Warner Inc. (TWX: Research, Estimates)