OnDeck Survey Ranks Business Owners' Preferred Presidental Candidates
Small business owners presidential survey results

OnDeck Survey Ranks Business Owners’ Preferred Presidental Candidates

Last night the lead up to 2020 presidential election officially got underway as the Iowa caucuses saw the first votes being cast for the candidates. However, as of this writing, the results of the evening have yet to be released following some apparent snafus. In the meantime a recent national survey by online lender OnDeck asked small business owners who they preferred in the presidential race.

The latest survey (conducted in January) showed an increase in support for independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who rose four percentage points from a previous survey to become the preferred candidate of 12.7% of respondents. That moved the Senator to second place among Democratic candidates in OnDeck’s survey behind former Vice President Joe Biden. Speaking of Biden, while he managed to maintain his top spot, his support did soften, falling from 18% in September 2019 to 14.9% in January.

Also on the rise was former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who garnered 5.5% of small business owners’ support — good enough for fourth place. Notably Bloomberg had not yet officially announced his candidacy when the previous OnDesk survey was conducted. Meanwhile Senator Elizabeth Warren held steady in third place with 6.6% (down from 8% last September) while entrepreneur Andrew Yang rounded out the top five with 4.1%. In the previous survey, Senator Kamala Harris — who has since dropped out of the race — was ranked at fourth with South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg in fifth.

With the Democratic field still split, President Trump remains the overall favorite among small business owners surveyed. The January survey found 40.7% of respondents backing the President, up from 37%. Nevertheless that is still below the 43.3% the top five Democratic challengers have combined (not to mention the also-rans).

As for what issues in particular were most important to small business owners, the economy remained a major factor with 14.9% of respondents naming it their top issue. On that note, optimism in the economic outlook through November actually grew. Since September the number of those expressing positivity about the economy climbed from 57% to 63%. Similarly the percentage of pessimistic owners fell three points to reach 17%.

Also included on the list of top issues among small business owners was “health care,” which moved into second place with 10.2%. In turn, “Immigration” fell to third with 8.9% of those surveyed ranking it at the top. “National Security” and “Taxes” completed the top five followed by the generic “Small Business Issues” in sixth.

Considering that Iowa is just the first of many major developments on the way for the 2020 presidential election, it will be interesting to see how subsequent OnDeck surveys shake out. Of course, in the end, the real question is whether the majority of business owners will coalesce behind the Democratic nominee or ultimately support another four years of President Trump. Needless to say the economy — which is clearly a top concern — could also be a huge factor in that final decision. In other words, while it may seem like it’s full steam ahead to November, we really have a long way to go.

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