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Expect a Clinton blowout over Trump: Survey

For nearly a year now, Donald Trump has continued to beat all expectations. However, according to a key group of U.S. business leaders, the Trump train will be permanently derailed come November.

Eighty-three percent of U.S. CFOs said they believe Hillary Clinton will become the next president of the United States, according to the latest CNBC Global CFO Council survey, conducted between April 29 and May 11.

The CNBC Global CFO Council represents some of the largest public and private companies in the world, collectively managing nearly $4 trillion in market capitalization across a wide variety of sectors — the U.S. companies on the list have a combined market cap of more than $2 trillion.

Late to the Trump Game

The CFO Council has been skeptical over the viability of a Trump political run from the beginning and it took some time for the group to come around to the idea that Trump would even be the GOP nominee. When first polled on Trump as a GOP nominee contender last September, the business tycoon failed to receive a single vote, while 78 percent of respondents believed former Florida Governor Jeb Bush would clinch the GOP nomination. It was not until March when the majority of predicted that Trump would be the likely GOP nominee.

Historically, the Council has always been near unanimous in its belief that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Presidential nominee.

Growing consumer concerns

For the second quarter in a row, the majority of U.S. CFO Council members said that corporate tax reform is the most important political issue to their firms — jumping several points to nearly 50 percent of all respondents.

This quarter, however, income inequality surpassed monetary policy to become the second most-cited "most important" issue. This suggests growing concern over the financial health of consumers among U.S. chief financial officers. Further evidence: Half of U.S. respondents say consumer demand is the biggest external risk factor facing their business.

Consumer demand is less of a concern for EMEA and APAC–based CFO Council members surveyed. Twenty-five percent of CFOs in Europe surveyed say low oil prices are the biggest external risk. In the Asia-Pacific region, China is the overwhelming choice for top risk factor.


A downgrade for the U.S.

Overall, respondents foreign and domestic have become more bearish about the global economy, lowering their outlook for Japan, Latin America (ex-Brazil), and the United States. When averaging all of the CFO Council members' responses on various current economic situations across the globe, the United States was "downgraded" this quarter from "improving" to "stable."


Complete survey results below:

(Note: 44 of the 103 current members of the CNBC Global CFO Council responded to this quarter's survey, including 24 U.S.-based members. Members represent a diverse mix of public and private companies from around the world, with nearly $4 trillion in market capitalization.)