Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has had a bit of an up-and-down campaign, but he and sitting President Barack Obama are neck-in-neck in most recent polls. The one place in which there’s been a considerable swing, surprisingly, has been amongst small businesses.
Romney has pledged to cut small business taxes and has made business the centerpiece of his campaign, so it’s little surprise that perception among small businesses has long favored him. Republicans are also—this is not a hard and fast rule, I note hastily, but a common perception—thought to be more business-friendly. Indeed, for a long time, Romney was way out in front of Obama amongst small businesses.
According to a new poll from Manta, Obama picked up close to 10% of the vote from the month before. Romney went from 61% to 47%, while Obama went from 26% to 35%. While Romney is still the clear winner amongst small businesses polled, that’s a worrying decline for the candidate.
So what’s behind it?
Simply put, it’s the improving fortunes of small businesses. As we’ve written in this space, small businesses have better access to lending and are seeing a steadily if slowly improving economy. Many of them naturally conclude that there are no changes necessary if the economy is improving, hence the uptick in support for Obama. A huge economic boom or bust moment in the next couple of weeks would likely swing those numbers dramatically one way or the other. This is actually fairly standard stuff for an election.
The good news, of course, is that regardless of who will be president in a month, they’ll be inheriting a better situation than the recession. That’s a plus.
One more thing to remember: There’s no way to know until the election which way the pendulum will swing, and this data is from before both presidential debates. What’s happened since then may have changed perceptions.
Who do you intend to vote for, and why?
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