Today, Thumbtack.com and the George Washington University released a survey of 5,689 small businesses regarding Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate selection. In a joint effort by Thumbtack.com and GW Professor David Rehr in the Graduate School of Political Management, “The Thumbtack.com – George Washington University Vice Presidential Poll” provides a glimpse into whom the nation’s entrepreneurs would like to see Mitt Romney choose as his vice presidential running mate.
“Small businesses will be responsible for creating both economic growth and jobs,” said Dr. Rehr, a lead researcher on the study, “so it is important to see who entrepreneurs would prefer as Mitt Romney’s choice.”
The survey, conducted July 18 – 26, reveals the following top line findings:
- Condoleezza Rice took first place among both Republicans (32%) and Independents (31%) who are registered and likely to vote. Rice took first place both nationwide and in a group of nine battleground states.
- Marco Rubio seized second place among Republicans registered and likely to vote with 21%, ahead of Donald Trump’s 18%. Trump edged Rubio among Independents (25% to 11%).
- While Trump fared surprisingly well in the survey, he was also the most divisive figure, earning the most “unfavorable” ratings among all respondents – including each of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.
- Marco Rubio was the winner in his native Florida, with 29% of small businesses choosing him as their top choice vice presidential pick, followed by Condoleezza Rice with 24%.
- Although Condoleezza Rice was the favorite of both male and female Republicans who are registered and likely to vote, she fared better with women than men (39% vs. 29%). The reverse was true for Marco Rubio, who was the top choice for 23% of males, but only 16% of females.
- Most small businesses have never heard of or have no opinion about almost all candidates surveyed. For example, 90% of the small business owners surveyed had never heard of or have no opinion about New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayote. Even Chris Christie and Marco Rubio were unfamiliar to over a quarter of the survey respondents, with another third having no opinion about them. Unsurprisingly, Condoleeza Rice and Donald Trump had the highest name recognition among the survey’s respondents.
“Small businesses form the backbone of the nation’s economy,” said Sander Daniels, a lead researcher on the study and co-founder of Thumbtack.com. “Small businesses and their reach into the community will likely determine the outcome of the November election. The Romney campaign pick should be an individual who excites and supports this important sector of our economy.”