While the list of Democratic hopefuls to take on Donald Trump has narrowed, there is a stark difference between the remaining Democratic candidates and how each of them would impact small businesses and the economy.
This survey clearly establishes small business owners prefer a moderate Democratic presidential nominee to take on Donald Trump in November.
More troubling for Democrats is that the survey also shows that 60% of small business owners approve of the job that Donald Trump is doing as president. That is over 10 points higher than his general approval rating released by Gallup last week.
With over 30 million small businesses in the U.S., representing over 99 percent of all businesses in the U.S., and employing more than 58 million people, it appears Democratic candidates may be fighting over policy issues that are not resonating with small business owners.
How long can they keep this up without permanently damaging their eventual nominee’s chances among small business owners to take over the White House?
Here is the survey data as released by the Square/Gallup survey.
Survey Results and Details
According to a survey conducted by Square and the global analytics firm, Gallup, American small business owners are closely following the 2020 Presidential election and overwhelmingly plan to vote in November.
With 60% paying “a lot of attention” and 30% paying “some attention,” this key group of voters, which account for more than 30 million businesses across the country, is more than highly engaged: 97% say they will likely cast a vote in the 2020 Presidential election.
Even though small business owners tilt more Republican (40%) than Democratic (33%) or Independent (26%), they are closely divided in whom they would support in the general election. By comparison, U.S. adults nationwide are less likely to identify as Republicans, according to Gallup.
Democratic Primary Candidate Preference
Joe Biden is the top choice for 22% of respondents who plan to vote in the upcoming Democratic primaries, followed by Michael Bloomberg, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Thirteen percent of small business owners who plan to vote remain undecided regarding their Democratic primary selection.
General Election Candidate Preference
Sixty percent of small business owners surveyed from January 15 to the 24, approve of the job President Trump is doing in office, and 52% say that if he wins the general election in November, their business will be better off. Conversely, 41% say the same for the Democratic nominee.
Small business owners would vote for President Trump over six of the seven top Democratic candidates. Only Mr. Bloomberg edges out President Trump.
In a hypothetical head-to-head match-up between the two candidates, 52% of small business owners say they would support Mr. Bloomberg, and 48% would back President Trump. Democratic candidate Vice President Joe Biden ties with President Trump at 50%.
General Election Candidate Preference Among Small Business Owners
Among Independent voters, Mr. Bloomberg holds an even wider margin of 57% to 43%. Independent voters also support Andrew Yang over President Trump 53% to 47%, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg narrowly beats President Trump 51% to 49%.
When asked about the state of the economy, 77% of small business owners say current economic conditions in the US are good, however, 69% say it is likely that the nation will face an economic recession sometime in the next 18 months.
One-third (33%), say U.S. trade tariffs have mostly hurt their business in the last three years, 40% say they have had no effect and 27% say they have helped.
Key Election Issues: Taxes, Government Regulations, and Healthcare
Among six key election issues, 32% of small business owners say taxes present the greatest challenge to their business, while 21% say government regulations, and 20% say healthcare.
Seven in 10 small business owners say the cost of healthcare has impacted their ability to hire or retain employees, and 69% say their business benefited from the increased small business deduction that resulted from the 2017 tax reform law.
Results for this poll are based on online surveys conducted by Gallup on Jan. 15-24, 2020, with a sample of 1,234 small business owners, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Respondents were interviewed via the web in partnership with Dynata. All respondents own a small business with annual revenue between $50,000 and $25,000,000.
The national sample was weighted by revenue to ensure the sample was reflective of respondents across the revenue range.
How do you think the presidential race will evolve over the next month or so?
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