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Obama vs. Romney: Who is Better for IT Industry?

CompTIA poll shows more support in IT industry for President Obama vs. Mitt Romney in every area, including tax policy, access to capital, tech exports, education and privacy. "Not Sure" actually the big winner.


A new poll of Information Technology (IT) executives and integrators gives “Not Sure” a lead over both President Obama and Mitt Romney in terms which candidate will best help the industry.

President Obama and Mitt Romney both still have some campaigning to do with Information Technology (IT) industry executives and integrators.

A new national study conducted by noted pollster John Zogby of JZ Analytics for CompTIA shows that President Obama is slightly favored over challenger Mitt Romney in terms of who would be best to help the IT industry. However, in every instance, about an equal percentage indicate no preference between the two candidates.

On five key issues, tax policy, access to capital, small and medium business’ tech exports, STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) and privacy, the respondents rated the two candidates about evenly, giving a slight edge to President Obama over Governor Romney in each case.

The results to the question "Who would do a better job as president regarding the following important information technology issues that face the U.S. economy today?" are:

Tax policies that promote innovation & jobs in the U.S. IT sector
Obama 38%
Romney 25%
Neither / Not Sure 37%

Access to capital to advance start-ups and business expansion
Obama 33%
Romney 30%
Neither / Not Sure 37%

Expansion of tech exports by U.S. small and medium sized IT businesses
Obama 34%
Romney 27%
Neither / Not Sure 39%

Promote STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math)
Obama 37%
Romney 25%
Neither / Not Sure 38%

Ensure privacy as part of broadband, online and mobile policy
Obama 32%
Romney 26%
Neither / Not Sure 42%

Zogby says that IT industry executives support at least a moderate role of government in addressing challenges faced by the industry. But the survey also is permeated with a sense of disengagement with the current political process and a significant plurality undecided with respect to which candidate would address various IT issues more effectively. The Zogby companies have produced polls with "an unparalleled record of accuracy and reliability in the polling field," according to the company, adding that its telephone and interactive surveys have "generally been the most accurate in U.S. Presidential elections since 1996."

“This late into the political season, we are seeing a high level of disengagement from those in the IT sector.” Zogby reports. “This is true across company size, specialization and geographic region.”

“As we gear up for the elections this fall, we’re finding that messages from the candidates have yet to resonate with the IT sector and the challenges and opportunities before the industry,” says Todd Thibodeaux, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA. “Despite global economic uncertainties, the United States remains a leader in innovation, particularly in technology. Any candidate hoping to win the support of the industry will need to provide a stronger vision for how we retain and expand our leadership in this growing and vibrant IT sector.”

Several economic indicators show that the United States remains a global leader in IT business innovation; however, the perception among those surveyed reflected uncertainty over the future.

Among the key findings, two in three surveyed (64 percent) fear a loss of U.S. leadership in the global information technology sector. Another two out of three (68 percent) believe this change in U.S. leadership will have a harmful impact on economic growth and jobs. Nearly one-third of those surveyed (31 percent) believe it is a priority for government to keep IT businesses in the U.S.

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About the Author

Jason Knott, Editor, CE Pro
Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.

52 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Bryan Stanley  on  08/24  at  12:48 PM

I disagree. ...and by the way, “you didn’t build that”

Posted by ergodic  on  08/24  at  01:17 PM

I disagree.  Obama favors government control versus private enterprise.  IT is mostly private enterprise

Posted by Dizneyman  on  08/24  at  01:46 PM

There is NO WAY this is correct. The CEA is aginst Obama he is awful for our liveleyhood.

Posted by Jerry Green  on  08/24  at  01:58 PM

That is correct, you did not build that. The existing infrastructure was built long before many IT people were born.

Posted by Oli Tripp  on  08/24  at  02:39 PM

First off I do think both these guys are straight up politicians and only give a shit about themselves and no one else. However Obama is awful and will only raise taxes killing small businesses and their employees. On top of that this Obama fella has added shitloads of debt to the US which is going to bring this country to its knees anyway.

Posted by don  on  08/24  at  03:09 PM

Seems to be some bias either on the part of the pollsters or the reporter.

38% vs 25%, 32% vs 26% isn’t very close. Like it or not, IT executives favor Obama by an 8.2% margin, on average, on the questions shown - and that’s plenty to decide an election, were IT managers the ones to decide it.

Posted by anonymous  on  08/24  at  03:51 PM

Just like Idiocracy! Not Sure for President!

Posted by JohnS  on  08/24  at  03:55 PM

*I* built the internet.

Posted by David Casemore  on  08/24  at  04:29 PM

In what world is a 6 to 13% lead in four out of five categories, and a 3% lead in the fifth a “...slight edge to President Obama over Governor Romney ...”? Confirmation bias, Jason?

Posted by noobermin  on  08/24  at  05:03 PM

If all you read are online comments, you seem to think people actually care about the whole “you didn’t build that” hubbub. However, polls time and time again (like this one and the one on middle class recently talked about on CNN) show the majority of people are really in the center, not to the far right or to the far left.

Posted by John Harlow  on  08/24  at  05:39 PM

You labeled the choice “Neither/Not Sure”.

I think you are way off calling “Not sure” the winner. I think most people were choosing “Neither”. That’s pretty clearly the best choice here.

Posted by Oli  on  08/24  at  05:48 PM

I will vote for Romney unless for some reason I think Ron Paul can pull it off. He is the only guy who actually believes in the constitution and the govt spending within their means instead of increasing the debt ceiling and spending money we don’t have. If you are ever bored check out Thomas Jefferson and his thoughts on how govt should be ran then you will see just how screwed up things are now.  The fore fathers came from tyranny and we are heading right back into it.

Posted by 39CentStamp  on  08/24  at  08:19 PM

The Kenyan or the Caymanian?

Posted by Cathy  on  08/24  at  09:35 PM

People will vote for Romney they will be agaisnt themself, they will have 9/11 Katrina huricane, high taxes to pay war fee and Rich people will pay 1% taxes they will let people who vote for them pay everything and they get more money
they will set up war and voter will go Irac and they send their son to France,  tongue rolleye

Posted by Jason Knott  on  08/24  at  10:20 PM

No bias intended here, gents. Indeed, the exact terminology used by CompTIA in its outreach to me was that the IT industry was “evenly divided.”  But since I saw the numbers showing an advantage to Obama, I used the word “slightly.”  Perhaps I was influenced by the fact that original terminology from the association depicted no advantage to either candidate, so I wanted to soften my conclusion from the poll. One person’s “landslide” is another person’s “tight race.”

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