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Report: Renters lean more Democratic, but much less likely to vote, than homeowners

A new ApartmentList.com report shows that renters lean Democratic but are much less likely to vote than homeowners. (ApartmentList.com)

A new report by an online apartment-listing site details the economic differences between renters and homeowners and how those differences might affect voting patterns.

ApartmentList.com’s analysis found that renters are more racially diverse than the overall national population and that more low-income households are renters. A big economic division between renters and homeowners is apparent when looking at net worth: For homeowners, the median net worth of $231,400 is about 44 times the median net worth of renters, which is $5,200.

Researchers found that renters are more likely to swing left in their political inclinations and that they vote far less often than homeowners.

The analysis, done just ahead of the midterm elections, found that if renter turnout in the 2016 presidential election had matched homeowner turnout, Hillary Clinton would have won four key swing states (Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin). Researchers estimate that if only renters had voted and all homeowners had abstained from voting, Donald Trump would have won just five states. However, while 67 percent of eligible homeowners voted, just 49 percent of eligible renters voted in the 2016 election. Approximately 30 percent of the eligible voting population are renters.

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Researchers estimate that among homeowners who voted, Trump beat Clinton in the 2016 election by a margin of six percentage points, but that Clinton won the renter vote by 30 percentage points. The breakdown on political lines between renters and homeowners was similar when researchers viewed the voting patterns for congressional races.

The political divide between renters and homeowners isn’t based on red-state-vs.-blue-state geographic boundaries. Even in states that Trump won by a margin of more than 10 percentage points, renters voted for Clinton by a margin of nine percentage points.

For the full report, visit apartmentlist.com/rentonomics/renter-voting-preferences.

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