Business survey favors president
Posted: October 9, 2012
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — It’s the economy, stupid.
Offered two decades ago, political strategist James Carville’s advice describes what Virginia small business owners think is the most important issue in the Nov. 6 election, according to a new poll from George Washington University and Thumbtack.com, an Internet marketplace for local services.
By a wide margin, small business owners in the commonwealth — who are defined in the survey as those with companies with fewer than 500 employees — ranked the economy and jobs as the most important issue in their choice for president.
Forty percent of those surveyed chose the economy, while ethics and honesty in government placed second with 14 percent in the survey of 6,164 small business owners nationwide and 170 in Virginia from July 27th to Aug. 22.
More small business owners in Virginia believe that President Barack Obama is more supportive of them than GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Forty percent chose the president, compared to 27 percent for Romney, while 33 percent were unsure.
The Virginia numbers are better for Obama — and worse for Romney — than the national average.
Nationally, about 39 percent believe Obama is more pro-small business, while about 32 percent said the same about Romney and 28 percent were undecided.
Among economic issues, 26 percent of Virginia small business owners singled out the unemployment rate — which dropped to a 44-month low of 7.8 percent in September — as the most pressing followed by the federal deficit (16 percent) and health care costs (12 percent).
Only 7 percent chose taxes as the most important economic issue in their choice for president.
In three polls of likely Virginia voters taken since the Wednesday presidential debate, Romney leads in two of them by 1 percent and 3 percent and Obama leads in the other by 3 percent.
Obama had led in the previous 12 state polls prior to the debate, according to Real Clear Politics, an online aggregator of political news and polls.
— Contact Conor Gallagher at email@example.com