Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and the Republican party are the preferred ticket for most U.S. small business owners. That was the conclusion of the Wave Small Business Opinions Report on the 2012 U.S. presidential election, which we just unveiled today. (Why are we surveying U.S. businesses about politics? More on that below.)

  • 51% of respondents indicated they would "definitely" or "probably" vote Republican on November 6. 
  • 38% said they would "definitely" or "probably" vote Democrat. 
  • 6% intend to vote "Other," and 5% are undecided (all figures are rounded).
  • Of respondents who intend to vote Republican, the number-one issue is cutting government red tape for small businesses. 
  • Of respondents who intend to vote Democrat, the number-one issue is improving healthcare options for small businesses. 
  • Improving healthcare options is also the number-one issue for undecided voters. 

You can see the full results at waveaccounting.com/election2012.

Why are we doing this?

We've mentioned this before, in our recent rant at Forbes.com: Small businesses with 9 employees or less are under-represented, or mis-represented, in media and politics, in spite of making up 95% of businesses. (These figures are from the U.S. census, but similar proportions apply around the globe).

Most "small business" reports include responses from businesses with hundreds of employees and millions in revenue, so the opinions of real small businesses with 9 employees or less are seldom represented with any accuracy. And that makes it harder for real small businesses to get the right kind of attention and action. That has to end.

We're doing what we can to be part of the solution. We started with the Wave Small Business Report this summer. This U.S. Election survey is our second effort in giving voice to real small businesses. 

I'll state categorically that we are not trying to further any political agenda. Our pledge is to transparently share the opinions of our small business customers. Wave doesn't make contributions to any political party, and we will not be making recommendations based on the results of our reports.

"What if my business isn't in the U.S.?"

Wave has customers across the globe — quite literally in just about every country on the planet. When an opportunity arises to help amplify our customers' voices, whatever the country, we'll do our best to facilitate that, assuming there are enough Wave customers in that country to make the survey results statistically significant. Canada, that means you're probably up next! Guyana, sorry, we just don't have the numbers there yet to do a fair and accurate survey.