US Election: how would Democratic and Republican victories impact the US dollar?

Regardless of the winner, there will be motion in the currency markets. Are you prepared?

Xe Consumer

October 27, 2020 3 min read

The White House in Washington DC, USA

In just one week, the 2020 United States presidential election will draw to a close. 

While many are making their predictions based on recent polling data, as time has shown (just look at the 2016 election), the polls are not definite, and the United States could conceivably see a victory for either Biden or Trump. 

Whatever the result of the election may be, it will likely cause movement in the currency markets, and lead to changes in the value of the US dollar (and potentially other world currencies as well).

Volatility in the currency markets can dramatically impact individuals and businesses alike. Are you prepared for what could happen?

How will a Biden win affect the dollar?

In our previous post on the topic, here’s what we had to say:

Traditional wisdom would dictate that a Biden victory could lead to huge spending and tax increases which could see the Dollar weaken further, however many now believe that a safe and stable pair of hands for the US recovery from the COVID pandemic may just be the thing the Dollar needs to rebound.

Even today, you’ll see conflicting forecasts regarding a Biden victory. Some maintain that a Biden victory will lead to a drop in the dollar’s value. Earlier this month, the dollar fell to a nearly three-week low (its second straight week of downward motion), with many attributing its drop to increasing expectations of a Biden victory. Others believe that the greater uncertainty toward the Biden administration’s attitude toward the dollar may result in greater volatility.

However, others have stated that a Biden victory would be the “best possible outcome” for the dollar seeing as, between 1980 and 2016 (but excluding the 1984 and 2008 elections), the dollar rose an average of 4% following Democratic victory, as opposed to the average 2% jumps when Republicans were victorious. Additionally, many investors are reducing their bets on extreme currency market volatility in the event of a Biden victory.

What will happen to the Dollar if Trump wins?

After Trump’s victory in the 2016 election, the dollar did rise, and some predict that it will do so again. However, the US dollar Index has dropped more than 7% since his inauguration in 2017. Yet on the other hand, as stated above, the dollar does tend to strengthen immediately following a US presidential election, regardless of who wins (in fact, only 1 of the 10 elections since 1980 saw a drop). Many still predict a stronger dollar following a Trump victory, due to the administration’s support for fiscal stimulus as well as the fact that there would be less uncertainty in reelecting Trump over electing a new president.

What else?

Due to the much higher-than-usual frequency of mail-in ballots and early voting during this particular election, it’s possible that the winner will not be announced on Tuesday November 3, and will be delayed by a few days or more. A delayed announcement or a contested winner would extend the period of uncertainty, and almost certainly lead to a fall for the dollar.

In conclusion?

There’s no predicting the future. The best thing you can do right now is ensure that you’ll be prepared for volatility in the currency markets, whichever direction the motion. Sign up for an Xe account or set your Rate Alerts so that when the market does move, you’ll be the first to know.

US Election2020 ElectionUS Presidential ElectionUnited StatesUS DollarUSD