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Entrepreneurs poised to vote out incumbents in November

Buyer's remorse? Mitt Romney tops the charts for 2016 among entrepreneurs.
Buyer's remorse? Mitt Romney tops the charts for 2016 among entrepreneurs.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The two major political parties have let down entrepreneurs, and the latest study results from online community Manta reflect an increasing dissatisfaction with incumbents as minimum wage hikes move to the forefront. Released yesterday, August 19, Manta’s online poll of 1,511 small business owners found that a whopping 81 percent of those who are going to the polls planned to vote for the challenger, not the incumbent.

Mitt Romney is the top choice of entrepreneurs for 2016.
Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

But that doesn’t mean any particular political party is safe. Entrepreneurs and small business owners have had it with the two mainstream political parties. Over one-quarter, 26 percent, don’t think either party supports small business, which is up 12 percent since 2012. Only 32 percent still believe the Republican Party is the champion of small business, down 22 percent since 2012.

“I don’t feel either political party has proven to be overwhelmingly supportive of small business. In my opinion, an ideal candidate would be someone who’s less driven by social issues and rhetoric and more concerned with providing real, pragmatic solutions that address the needs of new businesses in dynamic markets,” said Zach Haller, a Millennial entrepreneur and founder of FOUNDiNTOWN, an online lost and found service, in a press release issued by Manta via email.

Mitt Romney at top of Presidential candidate choices

Yet Republican candidates are still top dog among entrepreneurs and small business owners: Mitt Romney and Rand Paul top the list of candidates that they would vote for in 2016. Surprisingly, however, entrepreneurs and small business owners ranked Hillary Clinton as third for small businesses. Not surprisingly, female and California entrepreneurs and small business owners rank Clinton as their top candidate.

Entrepreneurs lock horns over minimum wage hikes

As more states and even municipalities have toyed and passed minimum wage increases, which traditionally hurt small businesses and entrepreneurs, 40 percent of small business owners still said they would vote for a candidate that wanted to increase minimum wage and thereby shut down their business. Only 37 percent said minimum wage hikes were a deal-breaker.

The lines are drawn by gender, as half of female small business owners would vote for a candidate that wanted to increase minimum wage, while only 38 percent of male entrepreneurs would do the same. Surprisingly, Millennial entrepreneurs – those who fight against so-called income inequality – are most opposed to hiking the minimum wage.

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