STARTUP

Obama Loves Small Business. The Feeling Isn't Mutual

A new poll shows the president's approval rating among entrepreneurs has fallen to a new low.
Advertisement

President Obama says that he loves small business owners, but it seems the feeling isn't mutual.

A new poll just out from Gallup asked various professions whether they approve of the job the president is doing. More than half (52%) of professional workers gave President Obama a thumbs up for his job performance. But when pollsters asked business owners, just 35% had positive things to say, while 59% disapproved of the job Obama is doing. That's down from 41% last quarter. The only group of people surveyed who seem to think worse of Obama's performance is farming and fishing workers (34% of this occupational group approve). Overall, 47% of working American's approve of the job President Obama's doing, according to the poll.

What's behind the president's drop in approval among business owners, and how bad is the news for his chances of re-election? One thing's for sure, the dip in support among entrepreneurs isn't related to the recent snafu in which the President seemed to suggest business owners were not solely responsible for their own success.

"The data precede Obama's much-discussed July 13 comments that small-business owners have had help from others to achieve success. Thus it is not yet clear whether those comments have led to further deterioration in Obama's standing among small-business owners," notes Gallup.

As the fallout from "you didn't build that" hasn't yet been registered in poll data, Obama's numbers could be set to fall still further. And that's bad news for his re-election hopes, Gallup says. Small business owners may not be the most numerous subset of the electorate, but they're an important and influential one, according to the pollsters:

[Business owners] are of course a critical component of the economy and overall economic optimism in the country. If business owners become more positive about Obama and his plans for the economy, that could potentially boost his approval ratings and broader U.S. economic confidence closer to the levels necessary for him to be well positioned for re-election. Conversely, further deterioration in his approval rating among business owners could certainly add to the perception that Obama is not doing enough to bolster small businesses in the country.

Do you approve of the job President Obama is doing when it comes to helping small businesses succeed? Why or why not? 
 

IMAGE: jurvetson via Flickr
Last updated: Jul 31, 2012

JESSICA STILLMAN | Columnist

Jessica Stillman is a freelance writer based in London with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



Register on Inc.com today to get full access to:
All articles  |  Magazine archives | Livestream events | Comments
EMAIL
PASSWORD
EMAIL
FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
EMAIL
PASSWORD

Or sign up using: