Silicon Valley weighs in on elections

January 9, 2008 7:40:07 PM PST
Wall Street and Silicon Valley have its favorites as well -- candidates who may help give business a boost.

Silicon Valley has taken a back seat to New Hampshire and Iowa lately.

However, business leaders think a recession could change that.

Five percent of GDP generated right here in Silicon Valley -- 2.4 million people. That's less than one percent of the nation's population generating five percent of GDP, more than the entire state of New York," said Russell Hancock from Joint Ventures in Sillicon Valley.

Russell Hancock, who heads Joint Venture Silicon Valley, is suggesting that the valley's economic health is crucial to the national economy.

While not making any endorsements, Hancock singled out the candidates Silicon Valley might like.

"I suppose on the Republican side, they might look to a guy like Mitt Romney just because he has the credible business experience. This is a guy who knows how to meet a payroll. On the Democrat side, I suspect that you will see Silicon Valley come around to a guy like Obama, and the reason I say that is because he seems to get the language, the vernacular, of global competition," said Hancock.

Global competition is important to Silicon Valley.

"The bulk of our products are going overseas, so the health of trade and our export economy is central to our success and central to anyone in D.C. being able to nurture and cultivate the success of Silicon Valley," said Carl Guardino from Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

However, Carl Guardino says candidates need to spend time here to listen and learn, not just to pocket campaign contributions.

One young voter complained that economic issues are being ignored.

"It seems like a lot of some of the bigger issues have been kind of pushed to the side, and I guess with politics, sometimes character and a little bit of the mudslinging gets pushed to the forefront more than the issues," said Silicon Valley resident Michael Majchrowicz.

One way to get the Presidential candidates to focus on the economy and Silicon Valley is to invite them here for a presidential debate. Such an effort is underway before the California primary.