Massachusetts employers overwhelmingly believe that Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States.
Perhaps more surprisingly, a slim majority of those same employers believe that Clinton should be the next president.
A poll taken as part of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts Business Confidence Index survey for January found that 49 percent of those responding believe Clinton will win the presidential election in November. Thirty-four percent predict that Donald Trump will move to 1,600 Pennsylvania Avenue, while 10 percent expect Marco Rubio and another 10 percent Ted Cruz to take the oath of office.
Ask employers who should be the next president of the United States and Clinton still comes out on top - 26 percent compared to 21 percent for Trump. Ohio Governor John Kasich garners 17 percent, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush 16 percent, Rubio 13 percent, Cruz 11 percent and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie 10 percent.
A quarter of all responding employers checked “other,” with the most popular choice being former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
“The survey underscores the degree to which so-called establishment Republican candidates are splitting the votes of people who do not prefer either of the two front-runners, Trump and Cruz. Add the totals for Kasich, Bush, Rubio and Christie and you’re at 55 percent,” said Richard C. Lord, President and Chief Executive Officer of AIM.
Lord said the results also reflect the fact that employers prefer candidates such as Clinton, Kasich and Bush with established records of dealing with business issues than insurgent populists like Trump, Cruz and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
The first caucuses of the 2016 presidential campaign will take place Monday in Iowa. New Hampshire’s first-in-the-national primary is scheduled for February 9.
Recent polls tracked by Real Clear Politics show Sanders leading Clinton in New Hampshire by anywhere from three to 19 points. The polls show a mixed picture of the Sanders/Clinton race in Iowa.
Trump dominates the Republican field by between 7 and 20 points in New Hampshire and runs slightly ahead of Cruz in Iowa.
Results of the AIM survey results are based on responses from 168 Bay State employers. The survey listed all candidates alphabetically, without party affiliation.