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Which GOP Candidates Would Send CEOs Over to Obama’s Side?

In December, for the first time since September, CEOs favored a candidate other than Mitt Romney for the Republican party nominee: Newt Gingrich. But some consider Gingrich more polarizing than Romney (and this week, Gingrich’s campaign has cooled). A larger percentage of CEOs would rather vote for President Obama than Gingrich if that is how the ballot looks in November. If Romney is the Republican nomination, on the other hand, more CEOs would vote for him than the incumbent President. Where do the rest of the nominees stand?

The beginning of December brought a change in CEO political sentiments; CEOs switched their favor from Mitt Romney to Newt Gingrich for the spot as the Republican party’s nominee.  These votes, however, were cast before a recent cooling in attitude toward Gingrich.

When Chief Executive polled our CEOs on political preferences, we also asked them to choose who they would vote for in hypothetical elections versus President Obama.

An election between Herman Cain and President Obama would drive the most CEOs to vote for the incumbent president (19.0%), while an election between Ron Paul and President Obama would cause the most CEOs to abstain from voting altogether (18.9%).

Even though more CEOs favored Gingrich as the Republican nominee (38.8% vs. Romney’s 34.6%), it seems that Romney is the candidate who garners the most overall CEO support when slated against President Obama. A full 87 percent of CEOs would vote for Romney were he to make November’s ballot.

It will be interesting to see how these results change as election season nears, but here are the current standings:

Mitt Romney vs. President Obama

Romney: 87.0%
Obama: 10.2%
Would not vote:2.9%

Herman Cain vs. President Obama

Cain: 67.6%
Obama: 19.0%
Would not vote: 13.4%

Newt Gingrich vs. President Obama

Gingrich: 83.7%
Obama: 14.1%
Would not vote: 2.2%

Rick Perry vs. President Obama

Perry: 71.8%
Obama: 18.3%
Would not vote: 9.9%

Ron Paul vs. President Obama

Obama: 17.6%
Would not vote: 18.9%

Jon Huntsman vs. President Obama

Huntsman: 79.9%
Obama: 10.4%
Would not vote: 9.7%

For other election-related content, please visit our CEO Election Center.


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