Majority of nation's CEOs favor Bush over Kerry

But poll finds executives concerned about economy

August 12, 2004|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

MONTVALE, N.J. - The nation's chief executive officers support President Bush over Democratic rival John Kerry on issues including the economy, taxes and job creation, according to a survey by Chief Executive magazine.

Asked which candidate would most effectively handle nine issues, the 358 CEOs surveyed favored Bush over Kerry in every area. Eighty-three percent of the executives supported Bush on terrorism and homeland security; 81 percent gave Bush the edge on "tort reform"; 75 percent favored Bush on the economy; and 70 percent were more confident that Bush would create jobs.

CEOs also gave Bush higher ratings on trade, taxation, global labor sourcing, energy and health care. Still, the executives are more concerned about the outlook for the economy and business conditions than they were a month ago, said William J. Holstein, editor-in-chief of the magazine. The CEO confidence index fell 7.7 points this month to 169.7 from a record high last month.

"The majority of CEOs support Bush," Holstein said yesterday. "But they aren't very happy with their choices. They have very deep concerns about the future of the U.S. economy."

The magazine, which has 42,000 subscribers, polls 3,000 CEOs monthly to gauge their opinions on business and the economy. It received 358 responses to the e-mail survey, said Edward Kopko, chairman of the Chief Executive Group, which owns the magazine.

Executives raised concerns about political leadership in the United States, added regulatory requirements for companies, rising health care costs and the quality of workers emerging from schools, Holstein said.

The poll was conducted before the Labor Department said Friday that 32,000 jobs were created last month, about an eighth of the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.

Officials at the Bush and Kerry campaigns did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

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