Poll: Most of 7.6M SMB owners nationwide watch Fox News

Nearly half (49%) of SMB owners recently polled said they most often watched Fox News, followed by CNN (28%) and MSNBC (14%). (Fox News)

Do most owners of small and medium-size businesses vote Republican? According to research conducted by Columbus, Ohio-based Manta and featured in late July on Biz Report, nearly half (49%) of SMB owners said they most often watched Fox news, followed by CNN (28%) and MSNBC (14%).

"We conducted a survey of small business owners to learn more about their opinions, preferences and perceptions of current media outlets," said Manta CEO John Swanciger. "Previous Manta data has found small business owners tend to be right-leaning and the latest survey validates that."

What’s more, the 11-year-old website—which posts a searchable directory of small businesses nationwide—noted that SMB owners don’t really give much credence to any media.

"We also noticed small business owners are hesitant to trust the media, which seems to parallel consumer sentiment. We found that only 28% of small business owners trust the media to report the news accurately,” Swanciger stated, noting that, “Comparatively, a Gallup survey [conducted last September] found that only 32% of consumers say they have ‘a great deal’ or ‘a fair amount’ of trust in the [mass] media.”

Likewise, a survey conducted before the U.S. presidential election last year—The Political Face of the SMB Market, a report by The Business Journals—found that 51% of Republican SMB owners were “highly concerned” about the outcome of the 2016 election, compared to 21% of Democrats and 30% of undecided owners.

SMB votes count, the Business Journals said, because they are a large influence group. “Small and mid-sized business owners have local influence and national economic power,” said Director of Research Jessie Shaw. “As a group, they account for roughly 7.6M businesses, make up 46% of the GDP and generate 89% of their sales locally. Decisions and policies impacting their communities and businesses are of crucial importance.”

The same report found that Democrat and Republican SMB owners share similar business and personal concerns, but prioritize them differently. The number one concern of Republican-owned SMBs is the cost of health insurance and other employee benefit, while Democrat-owned SMBs are most concerned about attracting new customers.

Average annual sales of Republican-owned SMBs are $1.1 million higher than those of businesses owned by Democrats and $2.9 million higher than businesses owned by undecideds.