A new survey suggests small business owners are twice as likely to vote for Mitt Romney over President Obama in November.
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Manta released new survey findings Tuesday that show a gloomy situation for President Obama. The majority of small business owners polled (61%) say they plan to vote for Romney, while only 26% say they plan to vote for President Obama. That's a 6% drop since May.
What can we attribute this change to? Apparently not the selection of Representative Paul Ryan as Romney's running mate. The choice "didn't impact the small business owner vote as the majority (58%) says they still plan to vote for Romney and 25% say Obama still gets their vote," according to a statement released with the results. The release contained no word on how the uproar in the small business community following Obama's "You didn't build that" comment might be affecting the numbers.
So exactly how worried should President Obama be about these new poll results? Manta's numbers line up with another recent poll from Gallup that came out in July that found Obama's job approval rate among small business owners had fallen sharply. This argues against the possibility that the results from Manta, which polled only members of its community, simply reflect the ideological slant of members of this specific group. Something seems to be bugging small business owners generally about the current president.
The news from Manta isn't entirely bad for Obama though. Manta members might be down on him at the moment, but many claim to be keeping an open mind--40% told the pollsters that their vote will be influenced by how the needs of small businesses are addressed by the candidates during the upcoming Republican and Democratic conventions.
These small business owners keeping a keen eye on the conventions aren't looking for general policy pronouncements about all areas of American life though. Mostly it seems they're listening specifically for what the candidates will do for small business. Thirty-eight percent told Manta they are likely to base their vote on which party appears most supportive of small business growth.
Is there anything President Obama can do to win back the support of small business owners?
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. @EntryLevelRebel