Job Creators Prefer John McCain 4-to-1 Over Barack Obama

Over 70 percent of CEOs fear an Obama presidency will be a disaster

October 8 2008 by Chief Executive


Chief Executive magazine’s most recent polling of 751 CEOs shows that GOP presidential candidate John McCain is the preferred choice for CEOs.  According to the poll, which is featured on the cover of Chief Executive’s most recent issue, by a four-to-one margin, CEOs support Senator John McCain over Senator Barack Obama.  Moreover, 74 percent of the executives say they fear that an Obama presidency would be disastrous for the country. 

“The stakes for this presidential election are higher than they’ve ever been in recent memory,” said Edward M. Kopko, CEO and Publisher of Chief Executive magazine. “We’ve been experiencing consecutive job losses for nine months now. There’s no doubt that reviving the job market will be a top priority for the incoming president. And job creating CEOs repeatedly tell us that McCain’s policies are far more conducive to a more positive employment environment than Obama’s.” 

For several months during this presidential election year, Chief Executive has conducted specialized polling of CEOs’ attitudes on issues affecting national policy and the economy. During this period CEOs were first asked what policies and approaches would work best for business, energy policy and job creation. Subsequently, they were asked which presidential candidate’s policies were best aligned with these prescriptions for growth. 

Even though CEOs rated McCain’s policies over Obama’s in the most recent polling, their support came with reservations, as can be witnessed by the B- grade given to McCain’s overall policies. McCain received strong marks for defense and foreign policy but only a C+ on energy, environment and education. Conversely, Barack Obama’s overall plan received a barely passing C- with four out of eight policy areas receiving D grades. Neither candidate received an A. 

“I’m not terribly excited about McCain being president, but I’m sure that Obama, if elected, will have a negative impact on business and the economy,” said one CEO voicing his lack of enthusiasm for either candidate, but particularly Obama. 

In expressing their rejection of Senator Obama, some CEOs who responded to the survey went as far as to say that “some of his programs would bankrupt the country within three years, if implemented.”  In fact, the poll highlights that Obama’s tax policies, which scored the lowest grade in the poll, are particularly unpopular among CEOs. 

“Overall, many CEOs are concerned about the future of the U.S. economy and its ability to compete in the global market, but they look to John McCain and hope that this self-described political maverick may yet shake up established thinking and not give into to the tired policies of the past,” concluded Kopko.

 

Policy Areas

Grade for Obama

Grade for McCain

Energy Policy

C-

C+

Economic/Fiscal Policy

D+

B-

Foreign Policy

D+

B

Defense Policy

D+

B+

Environmental Policy

C+

C+

Educational Policy

C+

C+

Tax Policy

D

B-

Healthcare Policy

C-

C+

OVERALL

C-

B-

Source: Chief Executive Magazine Polling, August 2008