Two new polls released this week show that small business owners are not happy with Democrats.
The Discover Small Business Watch -- a survey of 750 business owners with fewer than five employees -- shows that small business owners' political preferences have shifted right since Obama took office.
Fifty-one percent of the small business owners Discover surveyed plan to vote for a Republican in November's mid-term election, compared to 38 percent of small business owners who plan to choose a Democrat. In a survey Discover conducted one month before the 2008 elections, small business owners were roughly split between favoring Democrats or Republicans.
Another poll, released this morning by business management software firm Sage North America, reveals that only seven percent of the polled small business owners believe the government is doing enough to boost the economy. And just 16 percent say they benefited from Obama's 2009 stimulus.
That small business owners are favoring Republicans is hardly surprising to Portofolio's Kent Bernhard Jr. "The group skews Republican in the first place, and the economic doldrums have energized the Republican base including small business owners," says Bernhard.
With one week to go until the congressional elections, Obama is doing his best to change the perception that Democrats are failing to bolster small business growth. Speaking at a Rhode Island manufacturing plant on Monday, the president said that a new law, which was initially opposed by Republicans, has provided 3,600 small businesses with more than $1.4 billion in new loans since it was signed in September.
In his remarks, Obama cited 16 tax breaks and a credit for providing health insurance to workers, both of which were introduced under the administration's Small Business Act. Held up in Congress by Republicans, the Act finally passed in September when two retiring Republican Senators broke from their caucus and voted with Democrats to move it forward.
But it appears Obama's recent efforts to aid small business aren't enough to gain the attention of small business owners: only 23 percent of the 528 small business owners Sage polled said they were familiar with the contents of the Small Business Act.
What do you think?
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