COLUMBUS, Ohio – August 19, 2014 – With less than 100 days until the U.S. midterm election, Manta, the largest online community dedicated to small business, conducted a new study of 1,511 small business owners, revealing that 81 percent of small business owners who plan to vote in midterm elections intend to vote for a challenger. While 32 percent believe the Republican Party to be the biggest supporter of small business, this opinion has declined by 22 percent since 2012. Today 26 percent don’t believe any of the major political parties are to be supporters of small business, up 12 percent since 2012.
“The economy is still top of mind for the small business community, with one-third reporting it as the biggest challenge currently facing the United States, “ said Manta CEO John Swanciger. “Taxes and healthcare have fallen down on the list of concerns, while illegal immigration and income inequality are rising on the list of top challenges. With the vast majority of SBOs planning to vote in the midterm elections, it’s important for politicians to hear their voice and focus on issues relevant to this community.”
The Tea Party vs. the Millennial Mindset this Midterm Election
Though just 12 percent of small business owners reported the Tea Party Movement to be the biggest supporter of small business, 56 percent of those polled agree with some, if not everything, the Tea Party stands for.
However, millennials aren’t drinking in the Tea Party movement. The survey revealed this generation of entrepreneurs is least likely to agree with Tea Party issues or even care about the Tea Party. When evaluating the other political parties, millennials are the most skeptical about which, if any, political party is an advocate of small business, with 28 percent reporting none to be advocates of small business.
While 67 percent of millennial entrepreneurs plan to vote in the Midterm Election this fall, their anticipated turnout at the polls is lower than any other generation. However, because half of all millennials voted in the 2012 Presidential Election, they are top of mind for many politicians.
Entrepreneurs in Stalemate over Minimum-Wage Wars
With the recent spotlight on minimum wage, 40 percent of small business owners reported they would vote for a candidate that proposed increasing the minimum wage, whereas 37 percent reported they would not.
Half of female small business owners reported they would vote for a candidate who would increase the minimum wage, as opposed to only 38 percent of men. Moreover, millennial entrepreneurs were most opposed to a minimum wage hike compared to any other generation, yet surprisingly cite income inequality as the second largest problem the U.S. is facing today.
California and Florida, states with much-coveted electoral votes in presidential elections, are slightly more willing to back candidates that are in favor of raising the minimum wage. Forty-two percent of small business owners in California and 43 percent in Florida are in favor of an increase.
Small Business Owners Prefer to Roll with Romney in 2016
Though Mitt Romney was unsuccessful in the 2012 Presidential Election, he’s currently the front-runner with the small business community for 2016. According to the poll, Romney outranked 10 other candidates as the top presidential candidate who would be best for small business. Rand Paul, republican and member of the Tea Party movement, ranked as the No. 2 candidate who would be best for small business.
The poll also revealed that Hillary Clinton ranks as the No. 3 best overall candidate for small business and currently ranks No. 1 with both female and California small business owners. As usual, Florida is too close to call – Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney are all identified as top candidates by the small business community.
Zach Haller, a millennial entrepreneur and founder of FOUNDiNTOWN, an online lost and found service, weighs in on political party support of small businesses.
“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. It’s been refreshing for me to have a supportive community like Manta – one that puts small businesses first and provides solutions to help grow business.”
About the Manta 2014 Midterm Election Poll
Manta polled 1,511 small business owners between July 22, 2014 – July 25, 2014 via an online survey, who are members of Manta.com and have claimed their Manta business profile. The margin of error is +/- 2.82 percentage points. For more on the Manta Midterm Election Poll, please contact manta (at) highwirepr (dot) com. To access the full survey results, go to www.manta.com/press/pr/midterm-election-poll