May 22, 2012 09:00 ET

Swinging Republican: Small Business Owners in Swing States Back GOP Candidates, According to New Manta Survey

Latest Political Tracking Poll From Largest Online Small Business Community Reveals Key Insights on Hot Election & Political Topics

COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwire - May 22, 2012) - As the presidential election draws closer, voters from highly influential swing states will play an increasingly important role. A new survey by Manta, the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business, reveals that small business owners in those key states -- Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin -- are leaning Republican. Over half (57 percent) of those small business owners say they plan to vote for Governor Mitt Romney, Representative Ron Paul or whomever is selected as the GOP candidate. Meanwhile, 32 percent say they back President Barack Obama.

Since the beginning of the year, small businesses have largely supported the GOP candidates. In Manta's January Political Poll, half of respondents said they plan to vote for one of the Republican candidates still in the running at the time -- Former US House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, Paul, Representative Rick Santorum and Romney. Only 34 percent said they would vote for Obama.

Nearly half of the respondents (48 percent) say the Republican Party is the biggest supporter of small business, while one in four small business owners feel Obama and the Democratic Party is who's backing them -- down six percent since the last poll in January.

Tax policy and the ability to get a loan/access to credit topped the January list of political issues important to small business owners, but healthcare has since surpassed both topics. Nearly one in five small business owners (19 percent) say healthcare will impact them the most, while 17 percent say it's tax policy; 14 percent, government regulation; and 13 percent, unemployment.

"As we are less than six months away from the election, it is critical that the presidential candidates still in the race focus on important issues affecting SMBs, such as job creation and healthcare," said Pamela Springer, CEO of Manta. "Small businesses play a key role in the national economy, and are a strong driver of innovation. Manta supports these small business owners through a unique platform built specifically for them, enabling this influential group to share and voice their opinions."

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 1,500 small business owners.

"The economy has been hard on small businesses this year, so I'm hopeful the presidential candidates will focus on issues that will impact and improve the outlook for companies like mine," said Bruce Muller of Wisconsin-based Webfitter LLC, a company that helps mid-sized to large companies develop their web sites, PHP web applications and manage their database systems. "Manta has been a valuable resource to help me get through the tough times, and I'm confident that no matter who our next president is, I will still be able to rely on Manta to provide me with the tools to grow my business and find new leads."

For more on the poll, please contact manta (at) bordersgratehouse (dot) com. To access the full survey results, go to

For more on previous Manta Political Tracking Polls, go to:

About the Survey
Manta polled 1,593 small business owners across the nation, who are members of and have claimed their Manta business profile, via an online Silverpop survey between May 1 and May 4, 2012. Out of the 1,593, 396 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 how they feel about government policies affecting their business. The margin of error is +/- 2.98 percentage points.

About Manta
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


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