1. Barack Obama — 34%
2. Mitt Romney — 17%
3. Ron Paul — 14%
4. Rick Santorum — 10%
5. Newt Gingrich — 9%
6. Other — 7%
7. Rick Perry — 3%*
8. Jon Huntsman — 1%*
(*) Since Manta completed its survey, Perry and Huntsman have suspended his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination
Presidential candidates praise the nation’s entrepreneurs as often as they can, because the people who run small businesses or receive a paycheck from them make up a massive voting bloc.
According to the Census Bureau, U.S. small businesses employ 59.7 million people. That amounts to nearly half the 131 million people who voted in the last presidential election. Add the distrust of large organizations on the heels of the financial crisis, which has led many Americans to identify with the entrepreneurial ideal, and the small-business community becomes an even more coveted vote.
Questions in the survey of 1,022 business owners, conducted earlier this month, included:
>> What political issue will have the biggest impact on your business?”
(tax policy topped the list, with access to credit and unemployment not far behind)
>> How satisfied are you with the field of potential 2012 presidential candidates?” (54% of respondents are not satisfied)
>> Who do you plan to vote for in the 2012 presidential election?