DONNA HARRIS

Obama has few fans among these car dealers

Donna Harris covers automotive retailing for Automotive News
Just recently, Carl Woodward, an accountant with a few hundred dealer clients in the Midwest, got fed up after hearing representatives of the Obama administration say they’re pro-business. He begged to differ and decided to see what his clients had to say about it.

In an e-mail, he asked dealers whether they thought the Obama administration is pro-business or anti-business. Woodward received more than 100 responses.

And the results? He says 10 percent said Obama’s administration is pro-business, and 90 percent said it is anti-business.

This is just an informal poll and very limited, at that. And it’s not surprising that a Democratic administration would rate low with a group of small business owners.

But just 10 percent?

That’s worse than for any voter category in research firm Gallup Inc.’s recent report on President Barack Obama’s general job approval ratings. In September, the president had a 45 percent approval rating overall, a 23 percent rating from conservatives and a 12 percent approval rating from Republicans -- the very lowest.

Then I think of the unprecedented GM and Chrysler dealership closings that followed the automakers’ bankruptcies last year. And that ultralow rating begins to make sense.

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