The Obama administration has hurt small businesses but the president still leads in backing among current 2012 election candidates, a new survey found.

Some 63 percent of small businesses said the administration’s policies had been damaging to small business, while only 16 percent indicated they had benefited, according to the poll by Manta, an online community that promotes small business. Some 67 percent were highly unsatisfied with government, with only 2 percent highly satisfied.

Meanwhile, the survey, which queried more than 2,300 small business owners online between August 12 and 29, showed President Obama as the candidate with 21 percent of support, followed by Texas Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, with 14 percent; Texas U.S. Representative Ron Paul, also a Republican, with 11 percent; and Republican former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, with 9 percent.

“What’s happening now is that the individual plays as large a role as the party,” said Manta CEO Pamela Springer, adding that candidates “are trying to separate themselves even from their party, as there are so many independents out there. And the independent vote is very, very, very critical.”

Some 32 percent of owners polled in the Manta survey – the largest group – said none of the candidates supports small business, while smaller percentages backed Michele Bachmann, the U.S. Representative from Minnesota and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, both Republicans and Tea Party candidates.