Study: Small Business Owners Favor Obama Despite 'You Didn't Build That' Comments

Poll finds a voting bloc too busy to fret over campaign rhetoric like "you didn't build that."

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A billboard criticizes President Obama's "you didn't build that" comment. But a new study shows the comment hasn't swayed small business owners toward Mitt Romney.

Small business owners believe President Barack Obama would be more supportive of them than GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney, according to a new study by George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management with local services site Thumbtack.

The majority of small business owners surveyed support Obama (39 percent vs. 31 percent for Romney) despite the president's controversial comment "you didn't build that," which has become a rallying cry for the Republican Party to attract small business owners.

"These entrepreneurs are busy with their businesses, so they are less engaged in the rough and tumble of national politics," said David Rehr, a lead researcher on the study with GWU, of why "you didn't build that" didn't have more of an impact. "I think the data also shows the Romney campaign needs to continue to refine its message to these voters."

GWU and Thumbtack surveyed 6,174 small businesses across the U.S., all with six employees or fewer. According to the U.S. Census, around 95 percent of small business owners employ six workers or fewer.

The entrepreneurs surveyed rated the economy and jobs as most important to them in choosing a president, while lower taxes—which Romney has stressed throughout his campaign—were rated as less important.

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.