WASHINGTON (July 1, 2016) — Ninety-seven percent of all small business owners say they vote regularly in national elections, according to the 2016 Politics of Small Business Survey issued by the National Small Business Association.
This compares with a mere 58 percent for the 2012 survey, the NSBA said. But despite this high level of turnout, there was a drop among small business owners who reported contacting their elected officials, it said.
“More small business owners today say they contributed money to a candidate's campaign,” the NSBA said in the foreword to the survey.
Tax reform and controlling healthcare costs are the issues small business owners believe should be a priority for elected officials, the NSBA said. This is consistent with their putting a higher level of importance on economic and fiscal issues than national security and social issues, it said.
More small business owners identify as independents than as Republicans or Democrats, and 78 percent say they don't vote for a straight party ticket, the NSBA said.
Most small business owners chose “neither party” as their response when asked which party better represented their interests, and also chose “neither party” when asked which party represented them better on specific issues, it said.
Eighty-two percent of small business owners said they believed politics had become more partisan in the past 10 years, and 65 percent said the current political system does not serve them well, the association said.
One-third of the U.S. voting population — some 70 million people — either run or work for a small business, according to the NSBA.
“While the outcome of the survey shows a relatively strained relationship between lawmakers and small business, it is not too late,” the association said. “Lawmakers have a long and growing to-do list which includes many measures that could positively impact small business. These actions are far more important than a hat tip to small business during a stump speech.”