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New Experian Data Reveals Political Affiliation of Small Business Owners

December 02, 2015 by Peter Bolin



With the U.S. presidential election just under a year away, we thought it would be compelling to take a look at small business owners,  their political affiliations and how that might influence the choice for our next U.S. President. Experian used a Sample population of 2.5 million small business owners in the U.S. in order to identify similarities and differences between groups of Registered Republicans, Democrats and Independents.  

Based on the analysis, a majority 35 percent of small business owners identify as Republicans, 29 percent as Democrats and 16 percent as Independents.

Republicans are not only the largest group of Small Businesses but they tend to have the highest business and personal credit scores compared to other political affiliations.  We determined business scores using the Experian Intelliscore Plus V2 score and personal scores using the Vantage V3 score. Independents have only a slightly higher business and personal credit score than Democrats but lower than Republicans.


In all but two of the eleven swing states we see a typical pattern with Republicans scoring the highest, Independents second followed by Democrats. New Hampshire and Wisconsin are the only two swing States that did not follow this pattern; here Democrats have higher business credit scores than the Independents but still lower than Republicans.

Consumer incomes followed the same trend we saw in business and personal credit scores with Republicans having the highest average personal income, followed by Independents and Democrats.

We saw a pattern where there was only a slight difference in personal income between Republicans and Independents. This could mean that Independents tend to be more fiscally conservative.

When we looked deeper at personal income and the distribution according to political affiliation, we were able to see that Democrat business owners have a larger presence in the lower personal income ranges. Moving to higher income levels, we saw more Independents and Republicans.


We also analyzed how business owners are using their business and personal trade lines and found that on average, Republicans had the largest balance in business trades at $9.8k. We found it quite interesting that Independents had the largest balance in personal trades at $214k.

Candidates will want to make significant efforts to identify opportunities in key industries. For example, Restaurants and Beauty Shops have a large percentage of non-registered business owners which can be targeted by candidates. Looking at Beauty Shop business owners we noted that they were operated mostly by registered Democrats.

Taking a look at size of businesses based on employee size we see that the overall distribution of the sample population holds true for each company size. The distribution of businesses hold the same pattern observed from the overall population. You can see at the largest employee size of 1000+ that Republicans have the highest concentration in that category, indicating that they are job creators. 

Independents were the most educated group with 73 percent having at least some college or greater and 45 percent with at least a Bachelor’s Degree.   72 percent of Republicans had some college or greater and 44 percent attained at least a Bachelor’s Degree. Democrats had the lowest level of higher education with 66 percent attaining some college and 39 percent having at least a Bachelor’s Degree.

Watch On-Demand Webinar

In this pre-recorded Webinar presentation,  Peter Bolin, Director of Consulting & Analytics for Experian shares the results of his research, revealing the statistical differences between small business owners in each of the major political parties. 

Run time: 1 Hour

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