Guess Which Presidential Candidate Top CEOs Prefer? Hint: It's Not Trump.

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Guess Which Presidential Candidate Top CEOs Prefer? Hint: It's Not Trump.

More than half of Fortune 500 executives said they'd choose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in a hypothetical general election

Fortune asked all of the executives on its 500 list to rank their preference between Trump and Clinton. (Photo: Fortune Brainstorm E/flickr/cc)

A majority of chief executives of the world's biggest companies say they would support Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump for president, according to a new survey that upends the usual Republican leanings of corporate CEOs.

Fortune magazine in May sent a poll to all of the executives on its 500 list asking them to rank their preference between the two candidates. (No other options were given.)

Of those who responded, 58 percent said they would choose Clinton, while 42 percent said they favored Trump.

Fortune reports:

Big company CEOs tend to lean heavily Republican. But most of the 500 operate on a global scale, and many disagree with Trump’s proposals for raising trade barriers.

[....] The poll, whose full results will be published in the upcoming issue of Fortune magazine, showed that many CEOs are chafing under increased regulation during the Obama administration – 69% said increased regulation was one of the top three or four challenges facing their company.

The reversal of allegiance comes just after an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics found that the highest-paid CEOs and their spouses donated more than six times as much to Republican presidential candidates and their super PACs than they gave to Democrats. But none of them gave to Trump.

Meanwhile, Clinton has seen a surge of financial sector donations since Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee.

The survey, conducted by email, saw responses from 71 CEOs—or 14 percent of those on the Fortune 500 list—with 16 declining to answer. The full results will be published in the upcoming issue of Fortune magazine.

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