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Economy

Investors Research Tax Plans & Marxism as Election Unfolds

The wild swings of uncertainty leading up to the presidential election on Nov. 3 drove U.S. equity markets to their best returns in months. But they also drove investors to research topics related to the various potential outcomes of the election, particularly those likely to affect their portfolios and personal finances. 

With readers pouring into our site in search of explanations around how their finances and the economy as a whole might be shaped by the two candidates, we are able to see which topics our readers were most interested in, when that interest peaked in relation to election poll results, and where those readers are located in the U.S.

Their interest in the days leading up to the election ranged from the economic plans of Trump and Biden, to tax-related issues depending on the outcome, and ultimately to articles about Socialism and Marxism. 

We charted the waxing and waning interest of these spiking articles in the week leading up to election day, and when that interest peaked. Here is how reader interest in those topics spiked throughout the course of Election Day.

Demonstrating that finance, like politics, is both very local and very personal, we’ve mapped the states that showed the most reader interest in specific topics.

The West Coast showed an overwhelming interest in tax related articles, while the Southern states were very interested in socialism and Marxism.

Here are the top spiking terms and articles on Investopedia in the past week, based on the percentage increase of reader interest. The increases are measured against their 7-day average.

Trump vs. Biden Economic Plans

This article does a great job of explaining the economic plans of the two candidates and how they impact investors, consumers, businesses and the overall economy. It’s been popular since Biden declared himself a candidate and it saw the biggest traffic spike of any election-related article on our site.

5 Presidents Who Couldn't Secure A Second Term

This has been one of our most popular articles for the past two months as the polls favored a Biden win. While it’s not an investing-related article, our readers have been very curious about why single-term presidents failed to get reelected. Interest in this article was very heavy during the evening of Nov. 3, especially between 8-11 p.m.

Biden's Tax Plan

Joe Biden has promised to raise corporate and individual tax rates for people earning over $400,000 throughout his campaign. As the polls tightened, interest in this article spiked as our readers sought to determine the impact on their personal bottom lines if Biden were to win. This has been a popular article for the past several months, but reader interest spiked 484% on Election Day.

Trump's Tax Reform

This article has been popular since 2017 when The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was enacted by Congress. It was the largest overhaul of the tax code in three decades and flattened the corporate tax rate to 21%. That was a windfall for companies of all sizes and our readers were curious to see if the good times would keep on rolling if Trump were to be reelected. Reader interest in it declined throughout the week, but it still saw some of the largest relative gains among the 35,000 articles on our website.

Socialism

This is always a popular term on our website, but it has gotten a workout in 2020 due to the race for the White House. It surged when Bernie Sanders was a viable candidate and it surged again as President Trump accused Vice President Biden of pushing a socialist agenda during the presidential debates. As polls narrowed yesterday and Trump’s lead in the electoral college shrank, interest in this term spiked — especially later in the evening.

Are Social Security Benefits a Form of Socialism?

They are not, but we can’t blame some of our readers for wondering if they are given the political rhetoric during this hostile campaign. Reader interest in this article spiked two days before the election as both candidates barnstormed the battleground states to host rallies ahead of Nov. 3.

1031 Exchanges

Interest in this article caught us by surprise, but it shouldn’t have given the tax implications involved with selling real estate. Just as our readers were very interested in the tax policies of the two candidates, many were curious about protecting their gains from selling property. Interest in this article was higher leading up to the election and it was very popular in California.

Marxism

Never far away from its cousin, socialism, interest in this political philosophy championed by Karl Marx spiked on election night, especially as the evening wore on and the results tightened. It’s been popular all election season, but it was a favorite as the election outcome shifted between the two candidates.

Long Term vs. Short Term Capital Gains

This article got a workout on the morning of Election Day as some readers, especially those in California and Washington, may have been doing some research before casting their votes. Interest in it tapered as the polls closed, but we have a feeling that it will remain popular.

Capital Gains Tax

A lot of readers went right to the source of their personal finance concerns to figure out what classifies as a capital gain. Joe Biden has promised to raise the capital gains tax rate for people earning $400,000 or more from 23.8% to 39.6% if elected. As his lead in the polls remained steady leading up to Election Day, this article drew a lot of attention.

Research and Charts by Amanda Morelli

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