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How a Brexit vote could be vote for Trump

Donald Trump
Carlos Osorio | AP

Brexit and Donald Trump have a lot in common in their appeal to voters who don't like the way things are going and view Brussels and Washington as inept.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analysts took this notion a step further and considered how a pro-Brexit vote might impact American voters.

"It is not clear how U.S. voters will react (if at all) but we can envision a scenario where a 'leave' vote helps Donald Trump's campaign," states the KBW report.

U.K. voters go to the polls next week to decide whether the country should remain in the European Union. Brexit has been expected to fail, but multiple recent polls show the leave camp has pulled ahead by a few percentage points — and market volatility has picked up as a result.

If the exit vote succeeds, traders expect an immediate violent move in financial markets. The KBW analysts say any volatility in markets would be a negative for the incumbent party and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

While the currency market has been volatile and stocks have sold off globally and across Europe on Brexit fears, BlackRock's Nigel Bolton, co-head of equity funds, said Wednesday that only "half the move" that would come with a leave vote has been priced in.

"A vote for Britain to leave the European Union might signal that voters have grown tired of the status quo and are willing to take radical steps to shake up the system — a good sign for Donald Trump," the analysts wrote. "If Trump winds up benefiting from a vote by Britain to leave the EU then the volatility that some people fear will be reinforced as it could lead to U.S. voters also pursing an option of upheaval."

To be sure, a Brexit vote on June 23 could spook U.S. voters and drive them away from the most risky candidate, who would be Trump and to the better known — Clinton, the note also said.