12% - We are expecting significant growth this year
55% - We see signs of improvement, but nothing significant
33% - We’re still waiting on the recovery to start
No less than six people are crisscrossing the U.S. at this moment with the same thing on their mind: The desire to be elected President on November 6. The Republicans have four candidates, Romney, Santorum, Gingrich and Paul; the Libertarian Party candidate, Gary Johnson; and, of course, the incumbent, Barack Obama.
There are many issues that have been debated and which are part of each hopeful’s stump speech; but none more than the economy.
So where are America’s small business owners likely to fall on this most-important topic? We wanted to know what reaction a presidential candidate would get from a small business owner out on the hustings, so in our unscientific online poll we asked that very question: “If a presidential candidate asked you how the economy is looking for your business for 2012, what would you say?” Here’s what you said.
The big group, 55%, said “We see signs of improvement, but nothing significant.” The next largest part of our respondents, 33%, lamented, “We’re still waiting on the recovery to start.” The smallest group, only 12%, said “We are expecting significant growth this year.”
We’ve been polling small business owners online with questions about the economy and their businesses for over two years, and the numbers have not changed very much. But the most compelling finding in our economy-focused polls has been that when you combine those who are doing just okay and those who are still struggling, the number has consistently been between 75%-90%.
There are 28 million small business owners in America and another 70 million who work for small businesses. Based on our polling responses - which compares closely to several scientific small business surveys, including the gold standard, Dr. Bill Dunkleberg’s NFIB Survey of Small Business optimism - it seems clear that the now-famous slogan of Bill Clinton’s former political advisor, James Carville, “It’s the economy, stupid,” may be more valid in 2012 than it was 20 years ago when the term was first used.