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Poll: PE Pros Prefer Kerry as President

Private equity professionals favor Sen. Kerry over President Bush, according to an unscientific poll conducted last week by the PE Week Wire, a daily email publication affiliated with PE Week.

The poll was conducted Oct. 25 and 26, and included 2,010 respondents.

About 52% of the participants said that they planned to vote for Kerry, compared to just over 46% who plan to select Bush on their ballot in this week’s election.

Ralph Nader (who garnered only 0.6% in the poll) was trumped by the “other” category (1.2%), which included such recommended names as Libertarian Party candidate Michael Badnarik, Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura.

The PE Week Wire had conducted two presidential polls earlier in the year – one after Kerry became the presumptive Democratic Party nominee, and one after the Republican Party convention – but the differential between Kerry and Bush had been statistically insignificant.

Last week’s poll, although far from scientific, may indicate that Kerry has done a better job of swaying undecided voters, since only 6% changed their presidential preference from one candidate to another. The poll also showed that Kerry had the lead despite the fact that nearly 35% (or 700) of those who participated in the online survey are registered Republicans.

Meanwhile, 22%, or 447 PE pros, were registered Democrats. More than 32%, or 640, called themselves independent, but had leanings toward one party or the other.

The majority of those polled described themselves as venture capitalists or buyout professionals, with a similar number identifying themselves as limited partners.

Among the issues that were the most important in determining their vote was the economy (28.5%), the war in Iraq (22.5%), homeland security (16.8%), the candidate’s personality (9.6%), the environment (1.2%), health care (0.8%), medical research (0.6%), and “other” (20%).

Email Daniel.Primack@thomson.com