Are Improved Credit Scores the best way to increase voter turnout?
During a recent workout session, Marty asked his 25-year-old trainer, “Are you going to vote?” He said no – he had no reason to vote. In exasperation Marty asked him, “Would you vote if you knew it would improve your credit score?”
His trainer, who is getting married this year, is consumed with his credit score, checking it almost daily! When he thought voting would improve his credit score, his interest piqued!
This prompted us, at Stones’ Phones, to take a more extensive look into the correlation between high credit scores and voting. Before testing the idea, we did a little research.
Our research showed that states which report having some of the highest credit scores (Minnesota, Vermont, New Hampshire) also have the highest voter turnout in the country.
Wealthier people tend to have higher credit scores and vote at higher rates. In the 2012 election, 80.2% of people with an average salary of $150,000 voted, while 46.9% of those making less than $10,000 voted.
As we know, demographics and socio-economic status greatly impact voter turnout. The average voter is wealthy, educated and white. In regard to credit scores, 64% of white Americans had a FICO score of 720 compared to 41 percent of Latinos and 33 percent of African- Americans.
We also looked at the different ways that age cohorts view credit scores. According to a June 2018 Research Now/SSI survey conducted on behalf of Discover Financial Services, “credit awareness among U.S. consumers is increasing, but many still cannot fully identify everything that influences credit score ranges. Age seems to play a very real factor in credit knowledge.”
Although millennials tend to have lower credit scores, 83 percent of them were actively trying to improve their score compared to the more established Baby Boomers at just 34 percent. Sixty-six percent of Gen Xers were also focused on building their credit.
The Discover research revealed that people are checking their credit score and are actively trying to take steps to improve their credit health.
To further test if a correlation between a higher credit score and voting would motivate weaker voters, we conducted an automated survey of low propensity voters in San Antonio, Texas.
We called a list of 40,000 over a two-day period.
8,652 voters answered
8.9% (774) voters told us which voter in the household they were.
59% (462) of these specific voters chose one of our three following options.
In the survey we asked:
Press 1 if you would be more likely to vote if you knew that better voters have a higher credit score.
Press 2 if you would be more likely to vote if you knew the next Congress could impeach President Trump.
Press 3 if you would be more likely to vote if you knew that the next Congress could cut preexisting conditions from insurance plans.
The results amazed us:
Higher credit score: 48%
Congress impeaching President Trump: 37%
Preexisting conditions Healthcare: 14%
Approximately 23% (107) of those people went on to record their responses on why a higher credit score would motivate them to vote.
One voter stated, “A higher credit score would get me out to vote because it gives you self-confidence and you know that you are doing better and improving your life by voting correctly.” Listen here:
We think it’s safe to say, Marty’s trainer and his fiancée are definitely going to vote this year!