FTI Consulting 'Election Outlook Poll' of Main Street & Wall Street Shows Strong Appetite for Divided Government in Upcoming Elections
American business community prefers Republican takeover of Congress as means to an end; expects increases in hiring, capital expenditures as a result
WASHINGTON, Oct 25, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE: FCN), the global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance their enterprise value, has released a non-partisan Election Outlook Poll of U.S. investors, financial advisors and small-business owners from large and small enterprises, which shows a clear preference for a Republican takeover of at least one of the houses of Congress.
More than three-fourths of the Poll's respondents (78%) say they think the best electoral outcome for their business interests is for the Democratic Party to lose majority control of at least one house, with 55% saying the best outcome would be Republican control of both the House and Senate and 23% saying GOP control of the House would be the best outcome.
When presented with the hypothetical electoral outcome of Republican control of the House of Representatives, 64% of respondents say overall economic conditions would improve, and 63% say improved economic conditions would consequently improve their particular business and investment interests.
Specifically, for the businesses on which they are most focused, 60% say they expect hiring to increase, and 56% expect capital expenditures to increase.
Two-thirds of respondents (67%) to the FTI Consulting Election Outlook Poll disapprove of the job the president is doing in managing the economy, with 68% asserting that the administration does not understand the challenges the American business community faces.
Specifically, the poll finds Wall Street and Main Street grappling with two of the major policy initiatives passed in the last 21 months: health care reform and financial services reform. Among the poll's respondents, 69% say health care reform is having a negative impact on their business and investment interests, and 65% say financial services reform is having a negative impact.
More than the policy direction of the last two years, the poll also finds the business community is most concerned about what they see as a lack of clarity and direction in economic policy. A majority (56%) of respondents said that President Obama and congressional Democrats have not set a clear direction for U.S. economic policy, and that lack of clarity is causing uncertainty for companies and investors. A further 28% reported that the current direction of U.S. economic policy is clear, but that those policies are hurtful toward their business and investment interests.
"Amid the uncertainty in the economic cycle, the business community is looking for greater certainty of proposed changes in regulatory and tax policy," said Edward Reilly, CEO Americas of FD, the strategic communications segment of FTI Consulting, Inc. "Through the lens of this uncertain business community, these major policy initiatives present a host of issues that could affect the cost of business operations or their ability to obtain credit. Right now, businesses are choosing the status quo over calls for change. They believe the most favorable environment for them would be to slow down change, and they see that as more likely with divided government."
Even with such a strong preference for Republican control of one or both houses of Congress, a majority of respondents (53%) express a preference for Republican leadership to find ways to compromise with their political rivals in order to get things done.
"While a Republican victory in Congress is sought, the business community is not endorsing a blockade or repeal of all White House initiatives in the new Congress," said John Klick, senior managing director and Economic Consulting segment leader of FTI Consulting. "Indeed, the poll findings are telling us that businesses want a Republican Congress more as a means to an end to see bipartisan action from Washington that is supportive of the daily decisions businesses make regarding their planning and operations."
"As the major economies still sort out their fiscal and monetary policy responses to events of the last two years, the U.S. business community's perspective is one that provides a real-time referendum as to the impact of these policies on those who create and finance economic opportunity," said Mark Malloch-Brown, Chairman, FTI Global Affairs. "Quantifying these attitudes, as we have, will add to the dialogue between policymakers and business leaders as to the right mix to drive recovery."
FD, the strategic communications segment of FTI Consulting, conducted an online poll of 400 American investors, financial advisors, and small business owners from October 11-14, 2010. The sample of 400 was drawn from FD's proprietary panels and was comprised of interviews with 150 individual investors who hold at least $1 million in investable assets; 50 institutional investors who are portfolio managers and plan sponsors; 150 financial advisors who represent national, regional or independent advisory and brokerage firms; and 50 small business owners of firms with annual revenues under $2 million. Additionally, FD conducted a nationally representative telephone survey of 800 U.S. registered voters age 18 and older from October 8-9, 2010. The survey results among voters were used as a basis of comparison. (Full poll results available on request)
About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,500 employees located in most major business centers in the world, we work closely with clients every day to anticipate, illuminate, and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management and restructuring. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.
SOURCE FTI Consulting