Small Business Has No Confidence in Presidential Candidates

OnDeck survey

More than a third of small business owners do not have confidence in any of this year’s presidential hopefuls, according to a new OnDeck survey.

With the field of candidates ebbing away on all sides of the political spectrum, 34 percent of small business owners now say they are unhappy with all of the remaining contenders, Republicans and Democrats. The figure represents a stark rise from last fall, when just 25 percent of those surveyed said they disliked all of the 2016 candidates.

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OnDeck Survey: Confidence Tanking

The OnDeck survey quizzed 531 small business owners via Facebook and found that businesses were looking for prospective party nominees to address three critical issues: economic growth, tax policy, and healthcare costs.

Just over a third of respondents said they wanted to see the federal government cut taxes in order to bolster small business in the short term. Around 19 percent of those surveyed added they were looking for a reduction in healthcare costs. And 13 percent demanded the government provide better investment in infrastructure and scrap further minimum wage hikes.

According to James Hobson, Chief Operating Officer at OnDeck, remaining presidential contenders “would be wise” to address these issues as soon as possible.

“Small business owners are keenly interested in this year’s presidential election as they grapple with some big issues tied to economic growth and health care costs,” he said. “Given their active participation in past presidential elections, candidates would be wise to engage this vast voting constituency of 28 million small business owners.”

Small Business Deals

Small business owners have historically proven to be a powerful voting bloc. A whopping 95 percent are registered voters, and 90 percent of those surveyed by OnDeck said they had voted in the last presidential election. Of that group, 30 percent had made a donation to a Democrat or Republican candidate in the run up to the 2012 presidential election.

A quarter of small business owners admit to having already made a political donation during the current primary season.

When asked to select the remaining presidential candidate who would best represent the interests of small business, 37 percent chose Donald Trump. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders came in second with 28 percent, while Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton finished in third with 16 percent.

As the business community continues to lose faith in current presidential hopefuls, small business owners are increasingly expressing nostalgia for leaders of the past. Over 40 percent of those surveyed said Ronald Reagan had been the biggest friend to small business ever to grace the Oval Office. Bill Clinton came in next at 17 percent, followed by President Barack Obama at 14 percent.

See an infographic with the full study results below:

OnDeck Survey Reveals Small Business Owners Losing Faith in Presidential Candidates - 34 Percent of Small Business Owners Do Not Have Faith in Any of the Current Candidates, Up from 25 Percent Last Fall (PRNewsFoto/On Deck Capital, Inc.)

Trump Photo via Shutterstock, Infographic by OnDeck

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Nash Riggins Nash Riggins is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and an American journalist based in central Scotland. Nash covers industry studies, emerging trends and general business developments. His writing background includes The Huffington Post, World Finance and GuruFocus. His website is

One Reaction
  1. Thank you MR BUSH AND TONY Ouch: if you’re an average American, you’ll pay about $17,340 in taxes—federal, state and local—this year, about 31.5% of your hard-earned money. Painful? Tell me about it. But as you write those fat checks, here are two surprising facts that might soften the blow: First, we really don’t pay much more than prior generations of Americans did, and second, we pay less—a lot less—than citizens of most other first-world nations.

    On the first point, the 31.5% burden for federal, state and local taxes, Americans paid about 26% during the 1950s, when Dwight Eisenhower was president. An increase of five percentage points over six decades isn’t exactly onerous—especially when you consider that the bulk of that increase is for things that will eventually go back in your pocket: future Social Security and Medicare benefits. Payroll taxes, which fund Social Security, were a lot lower in Ike’s day, and Medicare hadn’t even been created yet. Entitlements are three-fifths of federal spending, so if you think taxes are too high, I’m sure you’ll be the first to volunteer to give yours up, am I right?