Dealmakers Pick Romney Over Obama as Best to Help U.S.

A majority of middle market dealmakers think Mitt Romney would do the best job of reviving the U.S. economy.

ACG New York asked dealmakers–which include private equity execs, attorneys, investment bankers, and lenders, etc. — which Republican candidate was best suited to help resurrect the flailing U.S. economy. More than half, or 51.1%, picked the former Bain Capital founder, while nearly 29% chose Newt Gingrich. A small group, 13.3%, picked John Huntsman, while a minute 3.3% went for Ron Paul.

ACG then asked whether the Republican candidate or President Obama would do a better job of reviving the U.S. economy. Not surprisingly, more than two-thirds, or nearly 78%, picked the Republican candidate. Romney, who founded Bain Capital in 1984, is seen getting major support from Wall Street. Stephen Schwarzman, the Blackstone Group’s chairman and CEO, even hosted a fundraiser for Romney at his Park Avenue apartment.

In December, ACG New York queried executives about their political views and hopes for 2012. ACG, a global association that represents middle market deal makers, received 128 responses.

In a surprise, a majority, or 52.9%, of dealmakers said they would be willing to pay higher income taxes if it would revive the economy. But a solid minority, 47.1%, said they wouldn’t.

How much of a tax increase is acceptable? Of the group in favor of higher taxes, 86.2% said that a 3% to 5% boost was acceptable, while 10.3% picked a 6% to 10% increase.

The survey found that middle market execs aren’t overly optimistic about 2012. ACG asked dealmakers to predict whether the U.S. economy, at the end of 2012, would improve. Roughly half, or nearly 53%, think it will be the same while one third, or 29.8%, believe it will be “better.” A small group, 13.2%, thinks the economy will be worse, while 2.5% think it will be “much better.”