Ryan Pick as VP Has Little Impact on Small-Business Vote

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was named Mitt Romney’s running mate this week, and according to one poll the announcement didn't appear to help or hurt the GOP presidential hopeful as far as the small-business vote is concerned.

Manta, an online community for small businesses, conducted a flash poll of 550 small business owners online after Ryan was announced as vice presidential candidate and 58% said they intend to vote for a Romney/Ryan ticket. Prior to Rep. Ryan being named running mate, 61% of the 1,942 business owners surveyed said they planned to vote for Romney. This compares to 26% of respondents who said they were planning to vote for Barack Obama, 10% who were undecided and 3% who do not plan on voting in the election.

More than half of respondents said they believe the Republican Party shows the most support to small business, compared with 19% naming Democrats more supportive. Fourteen percent said none of the major political parties are the biggest supporters of this group, and 9% chose the Independent Party.

Not all business owners, however, are planning to vote. Of those who are not hitting the voting booth this fall, 34% said their decision is because they do not like the candidates. Five percent said they never vote, and 12% said they do not believe their vote will count. Nearly half (46%), selected “other” as their reason for skipping out on the general election.

Health-care and tax policy were the top two issues for small business voters this year, with 21% and 20% respectively. Government regulation came in third place with 16% of the response, followed by access to credit (11%), the budget deficit and unemployment (both 9%).

Post-election, 59% said they are optimistic about the economic outlook for their business. In addition, 42% said they believe the small business community has the power to influence and determine the outcome of the 2012 election, while 32% said “maybe” and 26% said they do not believe this is true.