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Comparing the Shopping Habits of Trump and Clinton Supporters

The TXN application analyzes all purchases from a panel of over 3 million credit and debit cards.

In the past, we've compared contributions to the Trump and Clinton presidential campaigns.

In this post we will leverage the TXN application's ability to correlate spending of the same consumers across different businesses, to compare the spending habits of Clinton and Trump supporters:

We will explore spending at different categories of businesses over the last 180 days. For each category, we'll find the businesses where the largest percent of Trump or Clinton contributors shop, and vice versa: businesses that have the largest percent of their customers also contribute to Trump or Clinton.

For all the data below, let us remember that the number of people in the panel who made a contribution to the Clinton campaign is more than two times larger than the number of people who contributed to the Trump campaign.

This means that generally, we'll see higher proportions of Clinton contributors among most businesses' customers.

In the data below we're recognizing signs of the following high-level trends:

  1. Younger, earlier adopting consumers skew towards Clinton (see "food delivery apps", Airbnb, ridesharing apps).
  2. More affluent consumers skew towards Clinton (see "department stores" and "grocery stores").
  3. Older consumers skew towards Trump (see "cruise lines" and "health and fitness").
  4. Male consumers skew towards Trump (see "home improvement", "video games" and Dollar Shave Club).

Overall, Wal-Mart is a much popular business with Trump contributors, with 77% of contributors also shopping at Wal-Mart. Amazon seems to be a universally favored shopping destination for both Trump and Clinton contributors:

Looking at businesses whose customers are most frequently contributing to the campaigns:

Nutrisystem is an outlier, with 2.6% of those who use the weight loss system also contributing to the Trump campaign.

On the other side, we see a few food delivery apps (Maple, Munchery, FreshDirect and Caviar) having between 5 and 6 percent of customers also contributing to Clinton, as well as 5.7% of American Red Cross donors also contributing to Clinton, hinting at a crowd that's adopting technology early and is slightly more affluent, as well sympathizing with social causes.

In beauty and personal care:

Sephora is a much more popular destination among Clinton contributors, whereas ULTA and Bath & Body Works is more popular with Trump contributors.

Drybar ("The Nation's Premier Blow Out Salon") stands out, having 3.7% of its customers contributing to the Clinton campaign, hinting at affluent female voters' preference for Clinton, while Dollar Shave Club is the business in this category with the largest percent of its customers contributing to Trump, echoing a male voter preference for Trump:

Clothes and apparel:

Ross Stores and Victoria's Secret are more popular among Trump contributors whereas Zappos and The Gap are more popular among Clinton contributors. TJ Maxx is popular with both camps.

Bonobos and Zappos each have over 3% of their customers contribute to Clinton while Lands' End seems to attract an overall politically active customer base, standing out on both sides:

The "Wall Street Candidate":

Contributions to both Clinton and Trump are pretty common among Wall Street Journal subscribers, however Trump is slightly more popular with 2.6% of subscribers contributing to his campaign, somewhat debunking the notion that Clinton is the candidate preferred by "Wall Street"...

Cruise lines:

Among cruisers, Trump contributors outnumber Clinton contributors 2 to 1. This could be echoing a slightly older support base for Trump.

Department stores:

Macy's and Nordstrom are more popular among Clinton contributors while Kohl's is more popular among Trump's. Marshalls crosses the aisle and is popular with both groups.

Full service restaurants:

Chili's and IHOP are popular among both camps.
Cheesecake Factory is more popular with Clinton contributors while Cracker Barrel is with Trump's.
Generally, Trump's supporters are twice as likely to spend money at popular restaurant chains.

Fast food and coffee shops:

McDonald's and Starbucks are very popular among both camps, with Starbucks claiming the top spot with Clinton contributors and McDonald's with Trump's.
Chick-Fil-A is a favorite of Trump's supporters while Dunkin Donuts of Clinton's.

Grocery stores:

This category is possibly the most "politically divisive": Whole Foods and Trader Joe's are more than twice as popular among Clinton's contributors while Publix and Kroger are twice as popular among Trump's.

Home improvement:

Contributors to the Trump campaign are more likely to spend at almost all businesses in this category than contributors to the Clinton campaign. This hints at a larger proportion of men among Trump's supporters.

Hotels and lodging:

The business that stands out in this category is Airbnb, with 7.5% of Clinton's contributors being customers vs. only 2.4% of Trump's contributors. This demonstrates a younger, more early adopting supporter base for Clinton.

Taxi, car rentals and ridesharing:

Uber and Lyft, as well as NYC taxi are much more popular among contributors to the Clinton campaign than contributors to the Trump campaign.

Sporting goods and outdoors:

Academy Sports, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's are all much more popular among contributors to the Trump campaign than contributors to the Clinton campaign, hinting at many more hunting and fishing aficionados among Trump supporters.


GameStop, Xbox Live and Playstation Network are almost twice as popular among contributors to Trump vs. contributors to Clinton. This shows how young male voters are leaning towards Trump.

Learn more about consumer spending analytics with TXN.