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.

Obama vs. Romney: Who is Better for IT Industry?
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.
Jason Knott · August 24, 2012

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.

  About the Author

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. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at [email protected]

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