Our View: Election may have impact on holiday cheer, too

Posted: November 5, 2012

Election Day is just three days away, and with all focus on the results of that day, a new poll from Consumer Reports indicates the outcome may reverberate through the upcoming holiday season.

According to a Consumer Reports poll conducted late last month, roughly a third of Americans surveyed “expect to be more cheerful this holiday season than last year.” And while that sounds like good news, the outcome of Tuesday’s election may play the Grinch to this group.

Of those polled, “31 percent of respondents expect the election outcome to have at least some effect on their holiday spending; 17 percent indicated that the results will have ‘a lot’ of impact on how much they spend.”

For now, all eyes are on Tuesday and who will win the race for the White House. But, Thanksgiving and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season are less than three weeks away. To that end, the CR survey results also “reveal a cautious population still licking its wounds from years of economic woes,” according to a report from Tod Marks posted at  consumereports.org.

Mr. Marks’ report does indicate that whether people spend more or less this holiday season won’t be too closely tied to who wins, but rather that “half of the respondents cited gas prices and the economy as the variables most likely to affect spending.”

We would interject that who wins the White House will have a great impact on these two variables.

Now, the poll gives no indication as to how respondents plan to vote, but there is little doubt that the economic malaise that has engulfed the United States over the last four years has occurred under the Obama administration because of its failed policies. After nearly a full term in charge, the strategy of “blame Bush” no longer works for the incumbent president.

So, anyone concerned about gas prices and the economy only needs to look at the last four years to see if that is the kind of hope and change they want to bank on when they go to the polls.