Everybody wants to know who's going to win on Nov. 6 and what they’ll do in office to reignite our economy and help create jobs.

That said, candidates would do well to eyeball the results of an new study that provides some interesting insights into who the American people believe can offer them the most help:

 “Only 41 percent of Americans have a favorable view of the federal government, and 58 percent of Americans have little or no trust in the government to solve the country's major problems," according to the second-annual Public Affairs Pulse Survey, commissioned by the Public Affairs Council (PAC).

On the other hand, "two-thirds of Americans (67 percent) have a favorable opinion of big companies, up from 61 percent in last year's survey; and as many as 88 percent have a positive view of small business.

Public confidence in the federal government's ability to solve the nation's problems has eroded, and a majority of Americans are looking to companies to step in and help."

Respondents still have certain qualms about the business community and recognize the invaluable role government plays. But they pretty much feel the economy belongs in the hands of America's proven business innovators and entrepreneurs.

Then, and again

For example, the PAC asked people to identify the group they believe has been most important to the economic well-being of middle-class Americans over the past 50 years: Small businesses, major companies, labor unions, or the government.

Businesses—small and large companies combined—led with 68% of the responses.

In last place? Government, with 11%.

Next, people were asked which of those same groups would be most important to our economic well-being over the next 50 years.

Again, businesses led with 68% of the responses. Unions (11%) and government (19%) switched places, but were still way back.

Americans understand that businesses built our country’s economic prosperity before and believe employers can do it again.

Choices

Voters this year should ask their candidates how they envision economic recovery—and how they would help build a climate in Connecticut that's highly favorable to job creation and business investment .

The next General Assembly in January will have to craft a new two-year state budget. Businesses will be looking for lawmakers to exercise fiscal discipline and responsibility—cornerstones of economic stability in the state.

This new survey should help candidates settle what direction they might decide to take, and what decisions they would make, if elected.