Wall Street prefers Kasich.
In a result at odds with national polls, the latest CNBC Fed Survey of economists, fund managers and analysts finds Ohio Gov. John Kasich is viewed as having the best policies for the economy and for Wall Street.
A 42 percent plurality says a Kasich presidency would be best for the U.S. economy, followed by 16 percent choosing Democrat Hillary Clinton and 13 percent picking real estate developer Donald Trump. Not a single respondent chose Clinton's Democratic rival Bernie Sanders.
"I am favoring Kasich because of his willingness to work across the aisle, which I believe the stock market will be more comfortable with,'' said one of the 42 respondents. The responses to the political questions were pledged to be kept anonymous.
Kasich also was chosen as the best candidate for the stock market with support from 35 percent of respondents. Clinton followed with 22 percent and Trump was again third with 14 percent. Sanders received no votes and Cruz and Rubio were in the middle of the pack.
"Trump and Sanders would be worst for stock market," said another respondent.
In a campaign with a strong anti-Wall Street tone, lack of support from Wall Street may be a badge of honor for presidential hopefuls these days. Breaking up the big banks and criticism of the 2008 bank bailout have been standard fare on the campaign trail. Candidates like Sanders and Trump have sharply criticized big-money campaign donations and candidates associated with the status quo and party establishments have fared poorly. Yet Wall Street appears to be seeking just those qualities.
"Clinton's views on markets and economy are well-known and well-vetted," said one of the respondents. "At this point, Trump can and does say anything." Another chimed in that Clinton will only be good for the stock market if the Republicans maintain control of the House.
Forty percent of respondents overall say a Republican winning the White House would be best for the economy and 18 percent chose the Democratic Party. But in a possible sign that respondents don't like their choices very much, 26 percent said it doesn't matter for the economy who wins the race and 16 percent said they didn't know who would be best, higher than in previous CNBC surveys.
"Associating any of these candidates with the word 'best' is very difficult to do. They strike me as equally awful," one of the respondents said.
Among the 15 preferring a Republican in the White House, only two said Trump would be best for the economy and seven chose Kasich. And three of the seven who think the economy would be best served if a Democrat were in the White House chose Kasich, making the Ohio governor the only candidate to get bipartisan support in the survey.
But 56 percent say the presidential campaign is negative for the economy overall and 39 percent saying it doesn't matter. "Election outcomes have a smaller and shorter-lived impact on the markets than popular thinking suggests," one respondent wrote.