Joe Biden topped Donald Trump in a straw poll of voting preferences among large company CEOs taken yesterday in Washington, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren a distant third.
Asked who they would vote for, the CEOs, many from America’s largest companies, opted for Biden over Trump 43% to 37%. Warren had 9%, with no other Democrat hitting 5%.
The unscientific poll of 72 prominent CEOs, taken at the Yale School of Management’s bi-partisan CEO Caucus and hosted by Yale dean and Chief Executive columnist Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, shows how, despite his business background, the president has not gained the widespread support of corporate America’s top leaders over the last two-plus years.
“This cross section of the nation’s major business leaders from heavy industrial manufacturing to retail, consumer products, and technology, was yet another demonstration that the US business community is finding its voice,” said Sonnenfeld, the CEO of Yale’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute. “They are generally not ideologically charged partisans but genuine patriots with a concern for serving a globally competitive, tech savvy nation of unified communities who welcome disagreement with integrity and respect.”
Perhaps most tellingly, a stunning 73% of CEOs polled said the president could not be trusted to tell the American public the truth on key issues like Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea and accusations that he obstructed justice. But there was little appetite in the room for impeachment, with 81% saying they did not think democrats should begin proceedings to try and remove the president.
Other results showed little confidence in Trump’s approach to global trade. Of CEOs in the room, 58% did not think the president would achieve a trade deal this year and 80% said they thought business confidence was suffering as a result of US trade policy. CEOs were split 35% to 35% with 31% saying they didn’t know, on whether the as-yet un-ratified USMCA trade deal was a big improvement over Nafta.
Yet 67% of those polled said they were confident that the US would avoid recession in the next 12 months.
Still, it is worth noting that, despite antipathy toward the president among many CEOs polled, 64% still said that Trump’s tough US stance on China was justified, with 65% saying US business has suffered from unfair Chinese competition and 81% percent saying that Chinese network manufacturer Huawei is a threat to national security.