While the latest nationwide polls show little distance between President Obama and Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee appears to have developed a wide lead among one potentially important group of voters: small business owners in swing states.
On Tuesday, Manta released new polling showing that, in what are expected to be the most hotly contested states come November, less than one out of three (32 percent) small business owners plan to vote for a second term for Obama, while more than half (53 percent) plan to vote for Mitt Romney or whoever wins the GOP nomination.
Roughly 4 percent said they would vote for the Republican candidate only if the name at the top of the ticket was Ron Paul, and 2 percent said they don’t plan to vote no matter who runs against Obama.
Manta, an online small business community platform, surveyed nearly 1,600 small business owners across the country for the poll earlier this month. The firm identified Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin as potential swing states in the election, and the results have a margin of error of 2.98 points in either direction.
Among the other results of the poll:
• Nearly one in five (19 percent) swing state small business owners said health care was the most important political issue, followed closely by tax policy (17 percent) and government regulations (14 percent).
• Half of respondents said they believe the Republican Party is the most supportive of small business, significantly higher than the 22 percent that selected Democrats
• Roughly 56 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the crop of presidential candidates; 44 percent said they were unsatisfied.
Small business owners, which candidate has your vote right now? Please share with us in the comments below.