FedSmith.com Users Say Fear is Motivating Voting Preferences

When you think of voting in the election this year, what is your motivation: enthusiasm for your preferred candidate to win or fear of the other candidate winning? According to a majority of FedSmith.com users, fear of the other candidate is their primary motivation.

FedSmith.com users said in our latest survey on the presidential election that fear of the other candidate winning is the primary motivation for them to vote for a particular candidate in the 2016 election.

When asked about the biggest motivation for casting their vote, 76% of respondents said that fear of the other candidate winning was more motivating. 24% said enthusiasm for their candidate to win was more inspiring to them.

Most respondents said that the presidential debates did not sway their decision as to whom to vote for. 51% said the debates did not influence their vote while 38% said it did and another 11% did not vote.

As we reported last week, the overall results from our survey showed that most respondents plan to vote for Donald Trump in the upcoming election. 55% of respondents indicated they would vote for Trump while 37% planned to vote for Clinton.

Issues of importance

What current issues were most important to FedSmith.com users? National security, the economy, and Supreme Court nominees topped the list of issues.

Here is a list of the current issues we asked you about, ranked in order of issues identified as either very or extremely important:

Economy/Jobs 94%
National security/terrorism 92%
Foreign policy 89%
Supreme Court/federal courts/nominees 88%
Political corruption/leadership 84%
Health care 81%
Government spending/federal deficit 80%
Immigration 77%
Taxes 77%
Social Security/Medicare 73%
Education 64%
Federal employee pay and benefits 63%
Gun violence/gun control 56%
Race relations 55%
Abortion 49%
Environment/climate change 45%
Social welfare programs 45%
Income inequality 37%

Respondent demographics

The majority of respondents identified themselves as independents. Here is how respondents’ stated political affiliations came out in the survey results:

Independent 37%
Republican 34%
Democrat 27%
Libertarian 2%
Green < 1%

Survey respondents identified themselves almost exclusively as current and former federal employees. 66% were current federal employees while 31% were retired from federal service.

How they voted

So how does each group intend to vote? Here is a breakdown of how each group said they plan to vote in the election.

Donald Trump 60%
Hillary Clinton 27%
Gary Johnson 5%
Jill Stein 2%
Donald Trump 8%
Hillary Clinton 89%
Gary Johnson 1%
Jill Stein < 1%
Donald Trump 87%
Hillary Clinton 7%
Gary Johnson 3%
Jill Stein < 1%

Also of note, 78% of independents said that fear of the other candidate winning was their bigger motivation whereas 67% of Democrats and 80% of Republicans said of the same question.

Our thanks to all of our users who took the time to share their feedback in our latest survey.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.