Which presidential candidate is offering a better pitch to small businesses? Apparently neither--at least, according to a new WSJ/Vistage survey.
The monthly survey, which polled 797 small business CEOs, revealed that 22% expect overall economic conditions in the U.S. to be worse in the next 12 months, regardless of who takes office in January.
Slightly more than 42% of survey respondents think that the economy will remain about the same over the same period.
“Neither candidate has done a convincing job to demonstrate that the small-business owner will be better off under his administration,” Joel Shulman, a professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College, told The Wall Street Journal.
Small business owners in the survey rank the candidates’ differences in health care policy as the most “critical” issue in the upcoming election, ahead of five other key issues including taxes, immigration, and access to capital. Close to 63% said healthcare differences are “critical,” while another 26% found the issue “very important.”
Despite this month’s results, the newspaper’s September survey found that two-thirds of the 833 small-business owners polled said they planned to vote for Republican candidate Mitt Romney. But in the same survey, more than half of the respondents said they expected President Barack Obama to be re-elected.