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Trump’s Presidential Campaign Has Stifled Traffic to His Hotels and Casinos

Since Donald Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015, foot traffic to Trump-branded hotels, casinos and golf courses in the U.S. has been down, according to extensive data analyzed by location intelligence company Foursquare.

In July, Trump properties' share of visits fell 14 percent year over year.

There has been an interesting arc over the last year. Before Trump announced his presidential bid, foot traffic to his properties was steady year-over-year  —  and maybe even saw a small uptick. After he entered the race, his branded properties failed to get their usual summertime traffic gains. In August 2015, the share of people coming to all Trump-branded properties was down 17 percent from the year before.

These losses stabilized to single digits for a number of months, but as primary voting season hit full swing in March 2016, share losses grew again. Trump properties did not get their usual springtime bounce of travelers and locals. March share was down 17 percent once more.

The properties that were hardest hit were the Trump SoHo, Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago and (soon-to-be-closed) Trump Taj Mahal, down 17–24 percent in raw foot traffic this past year as compared to the previous year.

Many of Trump’s hotels, casinos, and golf courses are located in reliably "blue" Democratic states, and depend highly on guests and visitors who live in the region.

Breaking out Blue States, the loss in foot traffic runs deeper than the national average. For the past five months, Trump's blue state properties  —  spread between New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Hawaii  —  have taken a real dip, with diminishing visits starting in March and a widening gap that continues straight through July, when share fell 20 percent versus July 2015.

Trump properties have seen a double-digit decrease in visits from women this year, with a gap that widened starting in March 2016. (The one anomaly was February, for unclear reasons.) In July, visit share among women to Blue State properties was down 29 percent. This seems to reflect the gender division in the polls among American women.

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Foot traffic for Trump-branded properties in purple 'swing states' tells a different story. These states have fluctuated greatly over the campaign. They have seen share loss, but it's more favorable territory for the Trump brand.

When Trump was battling for the nomination against his final competitors from March to May, fewer people were visiting Trump properties in Las Vegas and Miami. Sentiment pivoted once more around the Republican Convention in July. July's bounce from -20 percent share in June to -3 percent in July in Purple State locations is also notable.

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Whether the loss in visits is coming from sightseers versus paying hotel guests is unclear, and it bears noting that traffic does not always equate with revenue.

For fans of Trump, the business losses may simply reflect the cost of sticking by his campaign statements and beliefs. For critics of Trump, the fact that more people are staying away from Trump-branded properties may reflect people "voting with their feet."

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