US elections: The road to 2020

Investment implications of the 2020 US presidential and congressional elections

Election Day countdown

Our coverage of the 2020 US elections and their investment implications will continue throughout the months ahead. Follow along as we monitor the race and help guide your portfolio decisions.





A Supreme Court vacancy alters the course of the US elections

The passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg upends campaign politics and motivates both the Democrats and Republicans, taking precedence over other issues.

Tune in to our virtual event series

Join us for a five-part virtual event series about the investment implications of this pivotal election cycle. You can watch the replay of the 8 September event, which featured external speakers Nikki Haley, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, and Kathleen Sebelius, 21st US Secretary of Health and Human Services.

What do the US elections mean for emerging markets?

We assess the impact of the 2020 US presidential and congressional elections on emerging market assets—and what investors should do—under different outcomes.


US election policy scenarios

US macro

Blue Wave (DDD)

Slightly positive

Focused on the economic recovery. Spending on stimulus, healthcare, infrastructure, and climate change more than offsets higher taxes (corporate, personal, investment).

Risks: Tax increases may be gradual, but still negatively impact business sentiment now, along with more regulation.

Biden (DRD; GOP Senate)

Neutral / slightly negative

Tax increases constrained by Senate, same for spending initiatives, unless recovery still requires stimulus, then infrastructure spending.

Negative for growth: Regulations go up on climate, energy, financials

But trade tensions and global uncertainty, especially ex-China, decline.

Status quo (RRD)


Deregulation continues, but more uncertainty on trade and global conflicts.

Possible infrastructure spending as pure stimulus, but amount is contingent on how economy is recovering.

Tax cuts unlikely, but so are tax increases.

Red Wave (RRR)

Slightly positive

Extension of the tax cuts in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) more likely than additional tax cuts.

Potential infrastructure spending and continued deregulation.

Risks: Additional tariffs on China and potentially other countries.


Blue Wave (DDD)


Fiscal expansion offsets tighter regulation and higher taxes.

Negative: Financials, energy

Somewhat positive: Industrials, materials

Mixed: Healthcare, utilities

Biden (DRD; GOP Senate)

Neutral / slightly negative

Increased regulation.

Positive: Consumer discretionary, consumer staples, industrials, materials

Negative: Energy

Status quo (RRD)


Renewed trade war is a risk.

Slight negative on trade war risks: Industrials, materials

Red Wave (RRR)

Neutral / positive

Additional stimulus but renewed trade war risks.

Positive: Financials, energy

Fixed income

Blue Wave (DDD)

Rates and inflation expectations rise slightly faster on fiscal stimulus.

Credit spreads widen initially on fear of higher taxes but retrace on fiscal stimulus. Treasury curve steepens. Municipals rally on prospects for higher taxes and more federal aid to states.

Biden (DRD; GOP Senate)

Rates and inflation expectations unchanged.

Credit spreads follow equities but could widen initially, with more volatility due to expectations about more stringent regulation.

Status quo (RRD)

Rates and inflation expectations unchanged.

Credit spreads move with equities, gradually tightening as the economy recovers amidst a lenient regulatory environment.

Red Wave (RRR)

Rates and inflation expectations rise slightly faster as deficit increases faster.

Corporate high yield outperforms — expectations of loose regulatory environment drive valuations.


Conversations with UBS On-Air

Top of the Morning: ‘ElectionWatch: What the US elections mean for the emerging markets’


Today we check in on the 2020 US election cycle, though we will examine the potential impacts and implications of the elections to the emerging markets. Featured is Alejo Czerwonko, Chief Investment Officer for the Emerging Markets Americas from the UBS Chief Investment Office. Host: Daniel Cassidy

Top of the Morning: ‘ElectionWatch: Outcome implications for risk assets and themes’


We revisit the recent edition of the ongoing ElectionWatch publication series, and further examine the implications of Election Day outcomes to both risk assets and longer-term investment themes. Featured are David Lefkowitz, Head of Equities Americas, and Michelle Laliberte, Thematic Investing Associate Americas from the UBS Chief Investment Office. Host: Daniel Cassidy

Top of the Morning: ‘ElectionWatch: Preparing portfolios for November’


Today’s conversation focuses on the latest edition of the ongoing Election Watch publication series, which outlines how to position portfolios ahead of the November election. Featured is Tom McLoughlin, Head of Fixed Income Americas, from the UBS Chief Investment Office. Host: Daniel Cassidy


2020 US elections research archive