October 30, 2008 / 2:00 PM / 11 years ago

Corporate finance chiefs prefer McCain: survey

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) speaks about his plans for U.S. national security issues with some of his national security advisors behind him in Tampa, Florida October 29, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chief financial officers of U.S. companies still prefer Republican presidential nominee John McCain over Democrat Barack Obama by a wide margin, but support for McCain is down from the previous quarter, according to a new survey.

CFOs are much less optimistic about the U.S. economy and about their own businesses, and expect it will be much harder for their companies to access credit over the next six months, the survey by Financial Executives International and Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business found.

Sixty-two percent said they hoped McCain would win next week’s presidential election, compared with 15 percent who prefer Obama. Three months ago, support for McCain was higher, at 71 percent, while Obama’s was lower, at 13 percent.

Twice as many said McCain was best able to handle the economic crisis than said so about Obama, the survey found. The survey, conducted electronically between October 2 and October 17, included responses from 290 corporate CFOs.

It also found 67 percent of respondents expected tougher access to credit over the next six months. On average, the CFOs predicted a 1 percent cut in spending over the next 12 months. Surveys over the past two years had consistently shown expectations of higher spending.

Separately, majorities said they favored increased regulation of the financial sector, were in favor of this month’s government bailout plan, and gave a “B” or higher grade to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson for his handling of the economic crisis.

Reporting by Nick Zieminski; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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