Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and billionaire investor Warren Buffett have no political experience or aspirations, but both would defeat President Barack Obama in a head-to-head race for the presidency, according to a new Newsmax/SurveyUSA poll.
The poll also found that such well-known business figures as Donald Trump, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally are within striking distance of defeating Obama.
Newsmax conducted the survey to find out how several well-known political and "dark-horse" celebrity figures, ranging from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin to Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck, would fare if they ran against Obama for the White House.
The survey of 1,000 registered voters was conducted Nov. 3-4, after Republicans won the House and gained six seats in the Senate in the midterm elections — results widely interpreted as a rejection of Obama and raising questions about his chances for re-election in 2012.
In the Newsmax poll, respondents were asked: “If there were an election for president of the United States today, and the only two names on the ballot were Bill Gates and Barack Obama, whom would you vote for?” They also were asked that question with other leading business figures in place of Gates.
Overall, Gates received 55 percent of the votes to Obama’s 45 percent, and Buffett outpolled Obama 52-48 percent.
The results suggest that Americans lack confidence in Obama’s ability to deal with economic issues, and that he could be vulnerable to a figure from outside the political world in 2012.
The Newsmax poll also found that Obama would be in a tough battle if matched against several other prominent businessmen.
In a head-to-head race between Obama and Trump, the entrepreneur would get nearly half the vote, 47 percent. Trump polled strongly among Republicans and conservatives, and got 50 percent of the vote among independents.
Ford CEO Mulally most likely is unfamiliar to many respondents in the poll. Nevertheless, Mulally also received 47 percent of the vote, including a majority of men, Republicans and conservatives.
Bloomberg, also a billionaire businessman, was not far behind Trump and Mulally, with 44 percent of the vote overall.
Still, Gates appeared the strongest vote-getter. Gates outpolled Obama among the younger age groups, which were considered solid Obama territory. Voters 18 to 54 gave Gates 57 percent, and those 35 to 49 favored Gates with 59 percent.
Gates polled strongly among Republicans (83 percent) and conservatives (84 percent), and even beat Obama among independents, 58 percent to 42 percent.
Buffett also polled strongly among Republicans (78 percent) and conservatives (81 percent), and beat out Obama with 58 percent of the vote among independents as well.
Buffett was ahead or even with Obama in the younger age groups, but Obama polled strongly among women voters, getting 56 percent of the vote.
Newsmax will reveal the results of hypothetical races between Obama and other famous Americans in the coming days.
SurveyUSA is an independent research company that conducts public opinion polls for media and academic institutions, and conducts private market research for commercial clients and nonprofit organizations.
Click below to see other Newsmax 2012 poll results:
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