COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwire - Oct 9, 2012) - With only weeks left until the election, 47 percent of small business owners say they plan to vote for Governor Mitt Romney -- down 14 percent since August. It seems the small business community vote may be changing course as 35 percent back President Barack Obama -- up nine percent since August, according to a new survey by Manta, the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business.
Voters from highly influential swing states also play an important role in this year's presidential election. Manta's latest survey reveals that small business owners in those key states -- Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin -- are still leaning Republican. 48 percent say they plan to vote for Romney. However, Obama is making up ground with these voters, as 38 percent currently plan to vote for him -- a six percent increase since May.
Interestingly, even though nearly half of small business owners in key swing states say they plan to vote for Romney, 56 percent believe Obama will win the election. Additionally, 41 percent feel Obama is more in touch with the average American. That said, 35 percent feel Romney falls in that category and 23 percent feel neither candidate does.
"With one presidential debate complete and two more to go, it is essential that Romney and Obama address the needs of the small business community. Small business owners are passionate about their future as the vast majority (68 percent) we polled thinks small business is a bigger issue in this year's election," said Pamela Springer, CEO of Manta. "Small business owners have been clamoring for their voices to be heard during this election, and it's well past time for the candidates to provide concrete plans about the issues SMBs have consistently cared about this year -- healthcare, tax policies and access to credit."
Manta released the survey findings today as part of the latest Manta SMB Wellness Index, a quarterly index that highlights key insights on small business hot topics and examines new small business activity. Manta's data shows new business activity fell 10 percent in the third quarter of 2012, compared to the same time last year. The index looks at multiple business resources nationwide and takes the "pulse" of small business owners on hot topics.
Overall, small business owners are the most positive about the post-election economic outlook for their business they've been since the beginning of the year. 67 percent are optimistic -- up nearly 10 percent since August and up 14 percent since January. However, even with growing optimism, nearly one-third of small business owners said their business has experienced losses and isn't better off than it was four years ago. Moreover, 80 percent of small businesses polled said they did not hire any employees this past quarter.
"We've had to push through a tough few years and it's time for things to turn around for us and every American. I'm voting for President Obama because he clearly can relate far more to average Americans than Mitt Romney. My business has really started to see growth in the past year and I'm confident it will continue to grow with Obama in office another four years," said Anne Landman of Colorado-based ThoughtOnBoard, a company that makes dry erase boards that stick to windows facing outward. "Even without knowing what lies ahead for my business, Manta can provide a valuable resource to help me grow."
The survey findings are part of a series of Manta Political Tracking Polls that offer an ongoing assessment of small business owners' opinions on candidates and hot topics related to the upcoming presidential election. Manta's latest survey polled more than 1,800 small business owners.
For more on the poll, please contact manta (at) bordersgratehouse (dot) com. To access the release and infographics, go to http://www.manta.com/media/political_survey_10092012.
For more on previous Manta Political Tracking Polls, go to:
About the Manta SMB Wellness Index
The Manta SMB Wellness Index is based on nationwide data compiled from new business licenses, DBA/corporate filings at city, county, and state levels, and is verified with multiple sources including utility information. Manta polled 1,854 small business owners across the nation, who are members of Manta.com and have claimed their Manta business profile, via an online Silverpop survey between September 20 and September 28, 2012. Out of the 1,854, 436 small business owners reside in swing states (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin). This survey tracked small business sentiment toward the presidential candidates and who they are going to vote for. The margin of error is +/- 2.98 percentage points.
Manta also polled 1,185 small business owners across the nation from the same group of 1,854 small business owners polled via an online Silverpop survey between September 20 and September 28, who are members of Manta.com and have claimed their Manta business profile. This survey tracked small business sentiment about political issues. The margin of error is +/- 2.98 percentage points.
Manta helps small businesses profit, connect and grow through the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business. Millions of people come to Manta each day to buy from, partner with and connect to companies. By joining Manta, small businesses easily harness the power of the Internet. Get visible; grow your business for free at www.manta.com.