SOURCE: MarketTools

November 09, 2007 08:00 ET

Small Business Leaders Favor Hillary Clinton According to New Inc.-Zoomerang Report

Independent Voters and Health Care Put Republicans at Risk of Losing Traditionally Loyal Constituency

NEW YORK, NY and SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - November 9, 2007) - Small business leaders say they prefer New York Senator Hillary Clinton over all other Democratic and Republican 2008 presidential candidates, according to the Inc.-Zoomerang Entrepreneurial Report, a joint research study of small business leaders on 2008 political issues. The report indicates that this once solidly Republican constituency may be in play in the upcoming presidential race. One quarter of the entrepreneurs surveyed as part of the Inc.-Zoomerang panel identified themselves as Independent voters. Though still conservative on issues such as taxes and regulation, this group -- particularly Independent women -- appear to be open to a Hillary Clinton presidency.

According to the report, Hillary Clinton receives 22 percent of small business support. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani comes in second with 17 percent. Illinois Senator Barack Obama and former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson tie for third with 11 percent each. 12 percent of respondents are undecided.

In another surprising turnaround, the report shows that this traditionally anti-tax and anti-regulatory constituency today chooses health care as the number one issue impacting their vote. A majority, 57 percent, say that a regulated health care system would be good for growing businesses.

"I'm an Independent but I don't know who I'm going to vote for in this election," said Dave Peak, CEO of LiquidTalk, Inc., a fast-growing enterprise software firm in Chicago that helps companies better connect with mobile employees. "I'm hiring aggressively and am concerned that my company will be a lot less competitive with big business because I'm burdened by higher health insurance premiums. The administration has not successfully addressed this health care crisis and I'm not satisfied with the candidates' solutions either."

Small businesses contribute 51 percent to the American GDP (SBA, 2007) and drive 97 percent of all new jobs (SBA, 2007). From construction companies to real estate agencies to high-tech firms, the report shows small business leaders are generally unhappy with the current state of national politics:

--  80 percent of the business leaders surveyed feel that government
    doesn't do enough to help growing business and is more focused on big
    business.
--  85 percent believe that the current crop of presidential candidates do
    not focus enough on their issues.
--  62 percent think the current administration is on the wrong track.
    

Despite Clinton's lead, the report shows that she remains a polarizing figure. Though she gets the highest scores among all candidates, 36 percent, for best addressing the issue of health care, she also gets the highest score, 29 percent, for most poorly addressing health care.

"Given how politically conservative American's entrepreneurs have been since the magazine was founded in 1979, we did not expect a shift within this constituency," said Jane Berentson, editor of Inc. magazine. "But as the Inc.-Zoomerang report establishes, more entrepreneurs are identifying as Independents, and they are more open to Clinton and to regulated health care."

After health care, tax policy rates second as the issue entrepreneurial voters care about the most and the Iraq War rates third.

"As we enter the one-year countdown to the November 2008 presidential election, we wanted to paint a never before seen picture of the political drivers and preferences of the 21st century entrepreneur," said Bob Bruce, chief of research at MarketTools, Inc. which owns Zoomerang. "It will be interesting to see how the candidates consider the opinions and perspectives of this very powerful group."

About The Inc.-Zoomerang Entrepreneurial Report

The Inc.-Zoomerang Entrepreneurial Report is a study of small business leaders with an emphasis on 2008 political issues. Inc. magazine, the handbook of the American entrepreneur, helps business owners and CEOs start, run, and grow their businesses more successfully. Zoomerang is the premier online feedback tool for businesses of all sizes and part of MarketTools Inc., a leading innovator in online market research. With access to over 2.5 million online respondents, Zoomerang and MarketTools, together with Inc. magazine, are uniquely positioned to build a panel of small business leaders that accurately reflects the demographics of this market sector.

Survey Methods

The Inc.-Zoomerang Entrepreneurial Report results are based on a systematic sample of over 1000 online survey respondents drawn randomly from a balanced panel of small business leaders representative of the US small business sector as a whole in terms of geography and company size. The survey was conducted between October 4 and October 19, 2007.

Small business is defined as businesses with more than two and less than 999 employees. Leaders are CEOs, founders and other top executives within these businesses.

For results based on a sample of this size, the margin of error is +/-3 percentage points. All differences discussed in this report are statistically significant.

About Inc. Magazine

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, LLC., Inc. magazine (www.inc.com) is the only major business magazine dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies that delivers real solutions for today's innovative company builders. With a total paid circulation of 681,421, Inc. provides hands-on tools and market-tested strategies for managing people, finances, sales, marketing, and technology.

About MarketTools and Zoomerang

MarketTools, Inc. is the defining provider of on-demand market research, giving companies and individuals the ability to continuously understand their target customers through innovative approaches based on advanced technology, research expertise, global market reach and an online panel community of over 2.5 million individuals worldwide. Through Zoomerang, the pioneer in online surveys, MarketTools also provides the leading self-service platform and services for fast feedback. MarketTools' full-range of research applications and services provide organizations from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and non-profits with unique access to their target markets to uncover unmet needs, reduce time to market and capture market share. Learn more at www.zoomerang.com and www.markettools.com.

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