President Trump’s Approval Rating Hits All-Time 64% High with Small Business Owners, survey shows

"It feels good as an American business owner to have an administration that's at least trying to fight on your behalf,” said one participant not registered as either a Republican or Democrat.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Texas Insider Report) — “This 64% is a high watermark for President Trump’s job approval, both among small business owners in our survey and among the general public,” said senior research scientist Laura Wronski. According to the CNBC|SurveyMonkey data, 64% of small business owners approve of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president, the highest approval rating for Trump among entrepreneurs since CNBC & SurveyMonkey began conducting a quarterly survey in 2017.
  • A 6% spike among small business owners identifying as political Independents influenced Trump's approval increase the most during the 1st Quarter.
  • Quarter-over-quarter, Trump’s job approval increased the most among these Independent small business owners — from 37% to 43%.
  • 60% of Small Business Owners approved of Trump’s handling of his job in the 4th Quarter of 2019.
The spike in approval among small business owners follows a pivotal period for Trump. This CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey for the 1st Quarter of 2020 — which includes responses from more than 2,100 small business owners — was conducted the same Feb. 3rd–Feb. 10th week as President Trump’s 3rd State of the Union Address, his impeachment acquittal, and the Iowa Caucuses.

The survey found increased optimism among small business owners about the current state of their business — overall confidence hit its highest level since the 3rd Quarter 2018 — and decreased pessimism about the effect that regulatory, tax and trade policy changes may bring in the next 12 months.
 
“One key way in which small business owners differ from everyone else, is that they're more likely to be Republicans than Democrats by a pretty wide margin,” said the SurveyMonkey group's Wronski, noting that small business owners are a consistent source of President Trump's support.
 
"That’s not true among the general population, which is split almost evenly and even slightly skewed to the Democrat side. Trump’s job-approval numbers are consistently higher among small business owners than they are in national polls, solely thanks to the fact that many more small business owners are Republicans than Democrats,” Wronski said.

A huge 93% of Republicans approve of the job Trump is doing this quarter, and it was the same in Q4 2019.

Small Business Owners speak out about Trump’s Record

Ben Thomas, owner of Five Pound Apparel, a retail store in Springfield, Missouri, said that it’s overall sentiment, not the president’s economic policies, that has a more immediate and direct impact on businesses like his.
 
“What we do know is that its at least being done under the pretext of putting American business first.

"It feels good as an American business owner to have an administration that's at least trying to fight on your behalf globally,” said Thomas, who is not registered as either a Republican or Democrat.

 
Thomas said when looking at the economic platforms from many of the top Democrat candidates, particularly Bernie Sanders as the front runner, “I’ll be honest … I get nervous as a business owner.”
 

“The irony is that those (big) businesses can afford to allocate resources to making those changes. But, small businesses operating on already thin margins may see those margins evaporate, and thus their businesses,” he said.

“I believe their policies may be counterproductive by actually widening the gap of those large corporations’ already sizable competitive advantage.”
  • Among Republican Small Business Owners responding to the survey, 43% said “Jobs % the Economy” matter the most right now — an issue that falls to 24% among Independents, and 15% among Democrats.
  • 15% of Independents and 28% of Democrats cited the Environment as the most important issue.
  • 29% of Democrats cited Health Care as the most important issue — along with 21% among Independents, and 14% among Republicans.
The percentage of Small Business Owners who say they “Strongly Approve” of Trump's handling his job reached 47%, also a new high. It had never moved above 40% in previous surveys.

A recent Gallup poll found Trump’s job-approval rating had risen to 49%, his highest in Gallup polling since he took office in 2017.

See full results of the first-quarter CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey. The survey is conducted quarterly using SurveyMonkey’s online platform and based on its survey methodology.
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