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Big Business Picks Its Presidential Candidate (Kind Of)

Surveys may have shown that small businesses in the U.S. feel presidential candidate Donald Trump best addresses the needs of entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean corporate America is backing the man.

Financial Times said on Wednesday (May 18) that, by a nearly two-to-one ratio, U.S. businesses would prefer Democrat Hillary Clinton to become president over Republican Donald Trump.

The publication said the conclusion stems from “the most comprehensive survey to date” of U.S. businesses’ sentiments around the presidential race. Researchers surveyed lobbyists representing U.S. corporations — one of which was Bill Reinsch, who heads the National Foreign Trade Council and thus represents major names, like Cisco and General Electric.

“I hate to put it in negative terms, but it’s because the other two are so terrible,” Reinsch told the publication, referring to Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

“I think Clinton is the one of the three that understands the issues the best and will be the best listener,” he continued. “One of the things companies really care about is: Will we be able to communicate with the president? Or are we dealing with somebody whose mind is already made up?”

The publication polled 53 trade groups and received responses from 16, FT said. Those 16 lobbying groups represent nearly 100,000 U.S. corporations with a combined annual revenue of more than $3.5 trillion.

One-quarter of respondents said they could not decide on who would be the best candidate, or they replied “none of the above.”

One-quarter chose Trump, while nearly half picked Clinton.

That doesn’t mean Trump would be the worst candidate, however. According to analysts, while 24 percent said Trump would be the worst candidate for the corporate members of their trade group, 53 percent said Sanders would be the worst. An equal percentage — 12 percent — said Clinton would be the worst or that they have no answer or “none of the above.”


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