Bush, Not Perot, Is Favorite Candidate of CEOs, Poll Finds

Associated Press

Most of Ross Perot's counterparts in the boardrooms of America's biggest businesses would vote for President Bush if the November election were held today, Fortune magazine said in a poll released Wednesday.

The magazine said the poll in its June 15 issue, on newsstands Monday, covered a sampling of chief executives from the Fortune 500 industrial companies and the Fortune 500 service companies.

The results showed 78% would vote for Bush, 11% for Perot and 4% for the presumptive Democratic nominee, Bill Clinton. The remaining 7% were undecided. Perot is expected to announce his independent candidacy soon.

In addition, the poll showed that 30% of respondents had done business with Perot, and three-fifths of those liked the experience. But many also said his demeanor in dealing with other corporate executives did not necessarily translate into a political attribute.

"I don't think his slam-bang style would serve the country well from the President's office," Edward B. Brandon, chairman of National City Corp. of Ohio, was quoted as saying. "He would make a super benevolent dictator, but that's not our system."

The Fortune poll was conducted via telephone May 18-21. Fortune said of 450 CEOs contacted, 115 responded. The magazine did not provide a margin of error.

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