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By Alan Murray and David Meyer
May 6, 2019

Good morning.

Our Fortune 500 CEO poll went into the field last week. We will publish full results in the June issue of the magazine. But in the meantime, here’s an early result: CEOs are abandoning the Republican Party in droves—but they aren’t moving to the Democratic Party. Instead, so far it looks like roughly half of Fortune 500 CEOs now identify as independents. Fewer than half identify as Republicans—a big change from days past, when most big company CEOs saw the GOP as their party. Only a minuscule number are identifying as Democrats—down from the Clinton days, when Democrats were trying to show a more business-friendly face.

The late Democratic wise man Robert Strauss used to tell the party’s presidential candidates that they couldn’t hope to win the support of business—but they also couldn’t hope to win an election with business united against them. If Strauss’ wisdom still holds, the leftward-lurching Democratic Party may be blowing a significant opportunity.

By the way, business misgivings about President Trump don’t necessarily reflect misgivings about his policies. Our past polls showed strong support for the President’s tax bill and his deregulatory policies. This one shows overwhelming support for his trade policy toward China.

If you are a Fortune 500 CEO and haven’t responded to us, please do so by Friday. More detailed survey results here next week. News below.

Alan Murray
@alansmurray
alan.murray@fortune.com

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