Believe it or not, more small business owners say President Obama is a better supporter of small business than Governor Romney, according to results of a Small Business Political Sentiment Survey being widely reported this week.
The survey contradicts the findings of a Yahoo! Small Business Advisor survey, as well as another recent poll of small business owners.
Yahoo's survey, conducted in June and July, asked 250 respondents which candidate would be best for supporting small business issues. Responses mirrored the survey's election forecast: 47 percent said Romney's positions are best for small business, 36 percent preferred Obama's.
And a Manta poll of more than 1,900 small business owners in August revealed that a significant majority—61 percent—said they plan to vote for Governor Romney on November 6.
George Washington University reports, however, that based on its July-August online survey of 6,164 small business users of Thumbtack.com, 47 percent of small business owners will vote for Barack Obama, and 39 percent will vote for Romney, while 39 percent say President Obama is better for small business and only 32 percent say Governor Romney is.
The difference can be explained in part by the large percentage of "not sures" among small business voters in the GWU survey. While between 6 and 10 percent of the general population remains undecided about whom they'll choose on election day, and 12 percent of respondents to Yahoo's survey were undecided, nearly 15 percent of GWU/Thumbtack.com respondents are unsure.
In addition, according to the GWU/Thumbtack.com survey, 28 percent of small business owners still haven't made up their mind about who's better for small business. Even greater numbers of Independent voters are uncertain: 39 percent haven't decided which candidate would be better for business.
Among Yahoo's survey respondents, only 16 percent said neither candidate was best for supporting small business issues.
Any other explanation for how GWU got such different results than the earlier surveys is difficult to come by, since the survey took place during the same period that Republicans have exploited the President's grammatically awkward, "You didn't build that" remark to cast him as highly unsympathetic to the hard work of small business owners.