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CNBC MILLIONAIRE SURVEY: CNBC's ROBERT FRANK: MILLIONAIRES SUPPORT A WEALTH TAX — AS LONG AS THEY AREN'T GETTING TAXED

Robert Frank | RobTFrank

Millionaires support a wealth tax — as long as they aren't getting taxed: CNBC survey

  • A majority of millionaires support a wealth tax on those worth $50 million or more, but their support declines for a tax on those worth $10 million, according to a new poll.
  • Fully 59% of millionaires said they would support a new federal tax on wealth over $50 million, according to the Q4 CNBC Millionaire Survey.
  • Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren's tax plan includes a tax of 2% on wealth over $50 million and 6% over $1 billion.

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A majority of millionaires support a wealth tax on those worth $50 million or more, but their support declines for a tax on those worth $10 million, according to a new poll.

Fifty-nine percent of millionaires said they would support a new federal tax on wealth over $50 million, according to the Q4 CNBC Millionaire Survey. Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren's tax plan includes a wealth tax of 2% on wealth over $50 million and 6% over $1 billion.

Forty-eight percent opposed a wealth tax on those worth over $10 million.

Attitudes toward the wealth tax are also strongly dependent on political party rather than wealth levels. Fully 88% of Democratic millionaires support a tax on wealth over $50 million, compared with just a third of Republican millionaires.

As for their own tax burden, most millionaires feel like they pay enough already. Fully 60% feel they pay their fair share of taxes, and a third believe they pay more than their fair share. Republican millionaires are more likely to feel they pay enough or too much.

The richer millionaires are more likely to oppose a wealth tax. About half of those worth $5 million or more oppose Warren's wealth tax.

"Most people who are worth $10 million or less don't feel wealthy, even though they are relative to the population," said George Walper, president of Spectrem Group. "And so they feel they should not be penalized. But they do think that people worth $50 million or more are wealthy and should pay more."

The CNBC Millionaire survey polled more than 700 people with investible assets of $1 million or more, including 301 Republicans, 200 Democrats and 247 independents. Respondents had to be the financial decision-maker or share jointly in financial decision-making within the household. The survey is conducted twice a year, in the spring and fall, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Trump gains support among millionaires but would lose to Biden in head-to-head, CNBC survey finds

Asked which candidate they support for president in 2020, 36% of millionaires named Trump, up from 32% in May, according to the Q4 CNBC Millionaire Survey.

  • The second-favorite candidate is former Vice President Joe Biden, with 14%. Sen. Elizabeth Warren came in third, with 8%.
  • Trump would lose to Biden in a head-to-head election, the survey reveals.
  • Of millionaires today who have donated to a campaign, the largest number — 39% — have donated to Trump.

President Donald Trump is the favorite candidate of America's millionaires — and his support seems to be strengthening. But there is a catch: in a head-to-head match up he would lose to Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the next Presidential election.

Asked which candidate they support for president in 2020, 36% of millionaires named Trump, up from 32% in May, according to the Q4 CNBC Millionaire Survey. The second-favorite candidate is former Vice President Joe Biden, with 14%. Sen. Elizabeth Warren came in third, with 8%. The survey was conducted before Michael Bloomberg entered the race.

Millionaire support for Trump has also grown over the past three years. In mid-2016, Trump trailed Hillary Clinton by 13 points among millionaires. Of millionaires today who have donated to a campaign, the largest number — 39% — have donated to Trump.

Still, their support for Trump — and their all-important donor dollars — depends in large part on who he faces in 2020. When asked who they would support in one-to-one match-ups, Joe Biden beats Trump 48% to 41%, according to the survey. Biden would even get 18% of Republican millionaire votes in a Trump-Biden match-up.

The only other Democratic candidate who beats Trump among millionaires is Pete Buttigieg, who edges past Trump 46% to 43%. Trump easily beats both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren among millionaires.

While the most popular answer from respondents on the question of the issue they will vote on in 2020 was voting Trump out of office, representing 29% of survey takers, that illustrates the extreme partisan divide consistent with past surveys. It was 32% in the Spring 2019 Millionaire Survey. Other issues typically popular with Republican voters split support, including the economy (17%), immigration (10%), "draining the swamp" (7%) and taxes/government spending (6%).

The main reason millionaires back Trump is the economy. Nearly half say he is good for the economy, versus a third who say Biden would be good for the economy. More than 60% said Sanders and Warren would be bad for the economy.

"The race is so fluid right now," said George Walper, president of Spectrem Group. "The only constant is Trump."

Walper said that 20 years ago, millionaires would have been much more predominantly Republican. But today they are more reflective of an evenly divided American public.

"Geography and who they are is more important than wealth when it comes to their political views," he said.

Millionaires remain cautious on the economy and markets for next year. A third think the economy will be the same, while 40% say it will be weaker and 28% say it will be stronger. Democratic millionaires are far more pessimistic, with 62% saying it will be weaker.

On the stock market, the largest number — 38% — say the S&P 500 will be up 5% to 10% next year, with 19% predicting it will be even stronger and 20% predicting it will be flat.

The CNBC Millionaire survey polls more than 700 respondents with investible assets of $1 million or more, including 301 Republicans, 200 Democrats and 247 independents. Respondents had to be the financial decision-maker or share jointly in financial decision-making within the household. The survey is conducted twice a year, in the spring and fall.

For more information contact:

Jennifer Dauble
CNBC
t: 201.735.4721
m: 201.615.2787
e: jennifer.dauble@nbcuni.com

Emma Martin
CNBC
t: 201.735.4713
m: 551.275.6221
e: emma.martin@nbcuni.com