Democrat Small Business Owners Want 2020 Candidates to Talk Climate, Economy, Healthcare

Democrat Small Business Owners Want 2020 Candidates to Talk Climate, Economy, Healthcare

Climate change, the economy, and health care are the top issues of concerns among small business owners who identify as Democrats. According to a survey by Thumbtack, 24% of business owners in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina want to hear more about climate change. They see these three issues as critical for them to vote come November 2020, for the Presidential election.

What Democrat Small Business Owners Want

According to the survey, climate change and the economy are tied at the top issues of interest among those surveyed followed by health care (18%). Conversely, democratic candidates are talking more on trade (16%), corruption and impeachment (15%), and immigration (15%).

A survey by the Pew Research Center some 68% of Americans say climate change is currently affecting their local community either a great deal or some. About 82% of Democrats say climate change is affecting their local community at least some. For Republicans, the number goes down to  38%.

A majority of U.S. adults (56%) say protecting the environment should be a top priority for the president and Congress. A smaller share (44%) say the same about dealing with global climate change.


On health care, many business owners are self-employed are responsible for finding their own health insurance and calculating their appropriate tax rate. These they say make it an issue that they want leaders to address.

The position on health care varies among voters, with 55% wanting Medicare for all. Yet another 34% prefer adding a public option to the Affordable Care Act. A small portion, however, would like to see a different health care plan all together. There is also a small 3% who don’t want to see any changes to the health care policy.

For now, small business owners say they are optimistic about the short-term future of their business. They expect their financial situation to be better in the next three months (60%). But only 5% expect it to be worse. They, however, would like to see less talk on trade/tariffs, immigration, and corruption/impeachment. 

Are Candidates Noticing?

This week’s Democratic presidential debate saw them briefly stating what their approach would be towards climate change if they got elected.

In a segue from the US Mexico Trade deal, Bernie Sanders says he is not in favor of a trade deal that did not protect American wages and didn’t address climate change.

Pete Buttigieg had highlighted the importance of reaching out to farmers who were threatened by climate change. Citing his credentials of his dealing with floods in South Bend he said he would use federal funds to help relocate people living in parts of the country that have been made unlivable by climate change.

Tom Steyer for his part argued against such a move. He says managed retreat is extremely expensive and signals a crisis that’s out of control. He instead said that he would declare climate change a “state of emergency” on his first day in office.

According to the Washington Post’s analysis on the percentage of policy talks, Democrats had on climate change via social media focused mostly on social justice and health care.

Who is Getting the Vote?

Those surveyed by Thumbtack note they are still on the fence on which candidate to vote for. With only 39% saying they have made up their mind. Meanwhile, 61% say they could change their support to another candidate before voting begins in the primaries.

Both Independent and Democratic business owners (32%) say their decision to choose a candidate will fall on the candidate’s likelihood of beating President Donald Trump.  The candidate’s position on economics is next with 27%. Other factors include the candidate’s experience (17%), their position on health care (12%) and positions on social issues (12%).


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Samson Haileyesus Samson Haileyesus is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 5 years. He has several years of progressive experience in media, communication and PR working with government, NGOs and private sector.

2 Reactions
  1. Sorry but this is a drastically vague sample pool, and possibly answers to leading questions. The 2020 Democratic leaders move their stance and priorities with each debate. The only candidate that seems to push the same message is Bernie. Agree with him or not, he doesn’t change his message. The lack of stable message these other candidates exhibit break the loyalty and trust connection with their voters – potential voters. My writing this does not DENY Climate Change. but you know what the founders had in mind when they came up with a system to vote for your representative? Surveying the issues with OPEN ENDED opinions and not curated pick lists of issues and topics.
    The ONLY effect voters have on climate change is pressuring candidates to enforce and not reverse EPA regulations (realistic adjustments in the near term) and understanding that America is at the bottom of the list of the most offensive polluters in the world.
    You cannot expect a candidate to do anything impactful for the environment except enforce pollution standards and consequences of the most polluting industries in the USA. Erin Brockovich has been fighting this for decades. She has a map of the most polluted towns and waterways.
    But moreso if pollution and emissions are the number one concern for voters – which it is not – then candidates should be pushing for MORE electrical car build-outs – and public transportation leveraging electrical rail like Europe. That is the entire VALUABLE Climate Change adjustment we can expect from a CANDIDATE.
    What’s more important? Bettering local public schools, and ensuring proper consequences for school districts that are not teaching the children. Money and budgets that are wasted in education, and no accountability to failed spending – no results from allocated money.
    Moreso is how candidates are capable of pressuring congressionally passed Federal Budgets to prove the programs DO WHAT THEY SAY THEY CLAIMED and WAS PROPOSED. If they fail then they deserve a pull-back of their program money. Yet this does not go on today. If a part of that $1Trillion budget has a program that fails, why do they continue to have money poured into those programs?
    That is impactful. This is how campaigns should be ran. Not based on trigger topics to drive anger. We vote for people who will DO THINGS and not spend their entire time in office, on the tax-payer payroll, impeaching. We need them to PASS VALUABLE legislation, not vote on things to posture and avoid their duty to their voters.

  2. Climate is really a pressing issue. The world is changing as a result of our own work.