Duke - The Fuqua School of Business

News Release

CFO Survey: Trump, Fiorina Viewed as best for Business

Nearly one in five CFOs see Donald Trump as most business-friendly candidate

September 04, 2015

DURHAM, N.C. — Donald Trump leads the list of presidential candidates preferred by chief financial officers in the United States as being best for business, followed by Carly Fiorina, according to new data from the Duke University CFO Global Business Outlook.

The survey, which closed at midnight Thursday, saw 468 U.S. finance and corporate executives select the presidential candidate they deemed would be best for their business.

No single candidate received majority support. Nearly one in five U.S. CFOs (19.4 percent) said Trump would be best for their businesses, followed by 14.1 percent who favor Fiorina. Jeb Bush followed closely at 13.9 percent.

John Kasich and Hillary Clinton round out the top five picks. A table of results is below:

Q: Select the presidential candidate you think would be best for your business:

Donald Trump — 19.4 percent
Carly Fiorina — 14.1 percent 
Jeb Bush — 13.9 percent 
John Kasich — 9.4 percent 
Hillary Clinton — 9.2 percent 
Scott Walker — 6.8 percent 
Ben Carson — 5.3 percent 
Marco Rubio — 4.7 percent 
Ted Cruz — 4.7 percent 
Bernie Sanders — 3.2 percent 
Rand Paul — 1.9 percent 
Chris Christie — 1.7 percent 
Rick Perry — 1.3 percent 
George Pataki — 0.9 percent
Bobby Jindal — 0.9 percent 
Jim Webb — 0.9 percent 
Mike Huckabee — 0.6 percent 
Martin O'Malley — 0.4 percent 
Rick Santorum — 0.4 percent 
Lincoln Chafee — 0.2 percent 
Jim Gilmore — 0
Lindsey Graham — 0

"This is not a survey of the average voter. These are our business leaders," said John Graham, a finance professor at Duke's Fuqua School of Business and director of the survey. "It appears U.S. CFOs believe that presidential candidates with business experience would be best for their own businesses, given the backgrounds of Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina."

The Duke University CFO Global Business Outlook has been conducted for 78 consecutive quarters and spans the globe, making it the world's longest-running and most comprehensive research on senior finance executives.

Additional results from the survey are being analyzed and will be released on Thursday, Sept. 10.

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