SurePayroll Insights Survey on 2008 Presidential Election: Small Business Owners are Concerned with Same Issues as Most Americans but Think Different Political Party Can Solve Them

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Survey suggests most small business owners plan to vote Republican, and believe economy, war and defense are most important issues in upcoming primaries.

It is not a surprise that most small business owners are passionately engaged in the political discussion - their businesses and lives in general are directly dependent on the state of the American economy

As the 2008 presidential election approaches, a survey of small business owners conducted by online payroll service SurePayroll this month reveals that most of them are hoping for a different outcome than the majority of Americans.

Of the 84 percent of small business owners who said they plan to participate in their state's primary or caucus, 59 percent of them favor Republicans, whereas various national polls report that up to 50 percent of Americans in general favor the Democrats and 35 percent favor Republicans*.

SurePayroll President Michael Alter says this data comes as a surprise, as many assumed small business owners' opinions mirrored those of Americans in general.

"During a time when Americans seem to be screaming for a change in political philosophy, small business owners are saying the Republican Party still holds the key to success," says Alter. "This is bad news for Democrats. If they want to win, they need to do a better job reaching this community. Small businesses represent 98 percent of companies and employ roughly half of our national workforce - their votes and influence matter."

-- Small Business and General Voters Agree on Importance of Economy, War and Defense --

The survey reveals that while small business owners and Americans in general differ on which party they believe is better for the country, they agree on which issues are most important.

When provided with a choice of 12 issues and asked to identify what they felt was the most important one to consider when electing a president, the largest group of small business respondents cited the economy as their prime concern, which includes issues related to taxes, national debt and the budget deficit. The war in Iraq and national defense/homeland security followed.

Similarly, according to a September Rasmussen Reports tracking poll, the economy was the number one factor for 72 percent of general American voters, with national security/War on Terror closely following at 71 percent.

-- Small Business Owners Choose Giuliani, Believe Red is Better for Small Biz --

The largest amount of small business owner respondents would like to see Rudy Giuliani win (18 percent), followed closely by Fred Thompson and Hillary Clinton, who each received 16 percent.

Similarly, 51 percent - the largest amount - said they felt the Republican Party was more beneficial to small business. 27 percent said they did not think one party was better than the other in this respect, and 22 percent chose the Democratic Party.

"Certainly small business owners have seen economic success during the last few years. The SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard has been reporting on the healthy state of the small business economy for several years," says Alter. "They could be of the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' mentality."

-- Most Small Business Owners Familiar with Candidates, Issues --

The survey results also suggest that most small business owners consider themselves well-informed about political issues. 49 percent of respondents said they were somewhat familiar with the candidates seeking nomination for the 2008 presidential election, while almost as many, 47 percent, considered themselves very familiar. Only 4 percent responded that they were not at all familiar.

Small business owners responded fairly similarly when asked to gauge their familiarity with candidates' stances on major issues. 59 percent said they were somewhat familiar, 32 percent said they were very familiar and 9 percent said they were not at all familiar.

"It is not a surprise that most small business owners are passionately engaged in the political discussion - their businesses and lives in general are directly dependent on the state of the American economy," says Alter. "They are less likely to do guess work at the polls because most realize just how much is at stake for their business and make it a point to do their homework."

-- Additional Insight --

  •     Of the respondents who were unsure whether they would vote in their state's primary election or caucus, 55 percent said if they did so they would vote for a Republican candidate. 39 percent selected Democratic and 6 percent chose "other."
  •     78 percent of respondents believe Clinton will be selected as the Democratic candidate. 54 percent believe Giuliani will be selected as the Republican candidate.
  •     The second most popular Democratic candidate was Barack Obama and the third most popular Democratic candidate was John Edwards, while Mitt Romney followed Giuliani and Thompson for the Republican vote.
  •     70 percent of respondents said they intend to vote for a candidate of the same party they voted for in 2004.
  •     Although the majority of respondents felt Republicans were better for small business, the largest group (33 percent) said they did not know which candidate in specific would be most beneficial.
  • According to a September CBS News/New York Times poll, 48 percent of respondents said they would vote for a Democrat and 32 percent said they would vote Republican. Another recent poll conducted by FOX News/Opinion Dynamics showed similar results. In that poll, 50 percent of respondents indicated they would vote Democratic, and 35 percent said they would vote Republican.

About SurePayroll:

SurePayroll is America's largest full-service online payroll manager. In addition to its payroll and ClickFREEâ„¢ tax file and pay service - which allows a user to complete the entire payroll process in minutes - SurePayroll provides HR and compliance resources, workers' compensation products and 401(k) retirement solutions designed specifically for small businesses.

SurePayroll also offers a private-label and co-branded payroll service to accounting and banking partners to offer payroll processing to their small business clients.

SurePayroll is passionate about small businesses and their payroll. The company is dedicated to providing an extremely friendly and simple payroll experience - at a price small business owners can afford. For more information, visit http://www.surepayroll.com.

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Frank Krolicki
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