Following the first Republican presidential debate, real estate businessman Donald Trump appears to have the support of the small business industry based on a post-debate survey.

After surveying 815 small business owners between Aug. 7 and Aug. 10, Trump was overwhelmingly viewed as the best GOP presidential candidate among the Republican field regardless of the survey respondents' gender. With an overall 41.4 percent, small business owners said Trump would be the best candidate for small business, including 44.02 percent from men and 47.53 percent among women.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ranked second, but double digits behind Trump. Bush received 13.64 percent, and was viewed more favorably from women than men -- 17.9 percent and 10.54 percent respectively. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson ranked third with 6.88 percent, ahead of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (6.63 percent) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (6.14 percent). Cuban American Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida ranked sixth with 5.9 percent. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ranked last among the top 10 GOP candidates from the primetime debate.

The poll was conducted by Manta, an organization seeking growth for small business owners. According to Manta CEO John Swanciger, in a statement to Latin Post, the organization's key mission is to "keep a pulse on all things small business," and one method to monitor progress has been through surveys.

"With this being the first debate of the season -- and with some interesting characters as candidates -- we wanted to get some insight on which individuals and issues are top of mind for small business owners as we embark upon the 2016 campaign season," said Swanciger.

Manta also polled small business owners on which presidential hopeful, regardless of political party affiliation, would be best for small business, and the winner was Trump, even defeating Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton by double digits.

Trump received 37.58 percent, including 43.64 percent from women and 42.43 percent from men. Clinton was the only other presidential hopeful to receive double digits, but far behind Trump. The former secretary of state accrued 13.18 percent, receiving more support from women than men, with 17.27 percent and 14.8 percent, respectively.

Bush narrowly topped Rubio, with 6.36 percent and 6.06 percent, each. Carson rounded up the top five with 5.3 percent. The next Democratic presidential contender was Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who ranked 10th with 3.79 percent.

Vice President Joe Biden and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley also made the list with more than 1 percentage point, each.

The survey respondents stated the economy was the most important issue leading to the 2016 election year, with 39.53 percent, followed by taxes, with 20.72 percent.

"Small business is a major force in the U.S. economy, and business regulations and taxes are always a hot issue during elections -- it's no surprise with nearly 28 million small business in this country," said Swanciger. "There are a lot of small business owners with a lot at stake, and depending upon who is elected, changes in legislation and economic policy have a big impact on how small businesses manage growth including spending, funding and investment, and hiring."

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