Venture capitalists favor Democratic candidate John Kerry for President by a slim margin, according to an unscientific poll conducted Oct. 25 and 26 by the Private Equity Week Wire, an online publication affiliated with PE Week (subscription required).

A poll of its readers, which included 2,010 respondents, found that 52 percent said that they planned to vote for Kerry, compared to just over 46 percent who plan to select incumbent George W. Bush. A majority of those polled described themselves as “”venture capitalists” or professionals active in the related “”buyout” industry.

PE Week Wire editor Dan Primack called the margin statistically significant. The poll also showed that Kerry had the lead despite the fact that nearly 35 percent (or 700) of those who participated in the online survey are registered Republicans. Meanwhile, 22 percent (or 447) were registered Democrats. More than 32 percent (or 640) called themselves independent, but had leanings toward one party or the other.

Among the issues most important in determining their vote, the survey reported, was the economy (28.5 percent), the war in Iraq (22.5 percent), homeland security (16.8 percent), the candidate’s personality (9.6 percent), the environment (1.2 percent), health care (0.8 percent), medical research (0.6 percent), and “other” (20 percent).