I recently conducted a telephone survey on the topic of the upcoming elections. My survey team asked 338 successful, self-made people (I call them "Middle-Class Millionaires"--that's also the title of my recent book) about their intentions regarding the upcoming elections.
If Inc.com readers are among the millions of successful families in this country (and they are--the typical reader of Inc. has a lot in common with America's 8.4 millionaire households), then this could be the year entrepreneurs lead the charge on The White House!
A reporter named Kristen Oliveri, from Institutional Investor's Private Asset Management newsletter, got a hold of my research. Here's what she wrote:
"Millionaires with a net worth ranging from $1 million to $10 million and up plan to vote in the upcoming election, and most will donate up to the legal limit to a political campaign. According to a study by Lewis Schiff and Russ Alan Prince, co-authors of the book The Middle-Class Millionaire, 99.7 percent of millionaires who were surveyed voted in the last presidential election and three-quarters plan to donate to a political campaign this year.
"Middle class millionaires tend to be very vocal, with 98.7 percent saying they are talking to people openly about their choice for president, and are willing to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to funding favored candidates. 'They are not much different than the middle class but they are more actualized than the middle class, meaning they translate their values into action more," said Schiff.
"The survey found that 98.4 percent of respondents said they expect to be very involved with convincing people to vote for their favored presidential nominee. Schiff noted that millionaires consider their minds, insights, and opinions to be valuable assets that they share with others, and seek solid information in return.
"'Convincing people of the merits of their political choices is also a demonstration of their powers of persuasion and this is a muscle that they actively flex in their personal and professional communities,' said Schiff."
My survey was conducted before Barack Obama emerged as the Democratic nominee, but it indicated a Democratic-Republican split that mirrors that of the middle class at large.
LEWIS SCHIFF | Inc. Business Owners Council
Lewis Schiff is the executive director of the Inc. Business Owners Council. His latest book is Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons From the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons.