Which Political Party Do Small-Business Owners Identify With the Most?

A new survey from the National Small Business Association reveals entrepreneurs' leanings when it comes to politics.
June 20, 2014

Small-business owners are politically split, yet continue to lean Republican, according to a new survey.

A survey released Friday by the National Small Business Association found that 39 percent of small-business owners are affiliated with the Republican Party and 22 percent with the Democratic Party, while 29 percent consider themselves independents. (Another small slice—5 percent—said they are associated with the Republican-linked Tea Party and 3 percent with the Libertarian Party.)

While the survey suggests small-business owners are more likely to consider themselves Republicans, 82 percent of those surveyed said they don’t vote straight party lines, the NSBA reports:

Seventy-seven percent of Republicans report voting independent occasionally while 70 percent of Democrats report the same. More than half of Republicans (56 percent) report they vote for Democrats occasionally or regularly and 58 percent of Democrats report they vote for Republicans occasionally or regularly.

The NSBA's survey results echo many other polls and surveys that have suggested business owners are politically divided, yet also very engaged in politics. Ninety-five percent of small-business owners say they vote regularly in national and local elections and 69 percent have contacted an elected official on an issue related to their business, according to NSBA. Sixty-three percent have given money to political candidates.

NSBA’s findings are particularly interesting, given the approaching mid-term elections this November and the growing momentum around the 2016 presidential election. They suggest that small-business owners will be watching closely to see which candidates are most closely aligned with their political beliefs and business issues and will be voting accordingly—and not necessarily along party lines. 

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