45 Days...and Counting
Here’s what we know: Come sometime in the evening of Nov. 6 or the early morning of Nov. 7, some 49-plus percent of the people in this country will be severely disappointed that their choice for president did not win the election. We are nation clearly divided on many issues and despite any imbalance in the Electoral College results, the popular vote will most likely be very close.
But sometime around the late afternoon or early evening of Nov. 7 – OK, it could be the 8th – the country will come together in the one way that unites virtually every citizen of this nation: Christmas shopping.
The sense of relief that all of the negative campaigning, political bashing and out-and-out nastiness will finally be over will result in a giant exhale, to be followed by an even-more-giant exodus for the nearest shopping center.
I think the next six weeks are not going to be particularly great for business, especially in the battleground states where the election will be decided. In those states – most experts say there are nine of them – the ad campaigns will go into Defcom Five Nuclear Meltdown status in the coming weeks and it’s not going to be pretty. Most people will feel pretty rotten about the state of things because about a billion dollars in Super Pac money will have been spent to make us believe exactly that. Shopping will be one of the furthest things from their minds.
As an aside that is a curious side-effect of the modern electoral process, those of us in the New York City area will barely even know there’s a campaign going on. Because the vote is so clearly tilted in one direction around here, the candidates are spending virtually no time in this area…other than to hit up the fat cats for big fundraisers. Unless one stumbles on some obscure cable network and sees a national ad buy, we may go the entire election without seeing a single advertisement for either candidate.
But regardless of where you live, it will all come to an end that first week of November and the country will get back to its regular activities, which most certainly include shopping. Regardless of what’s happening with the overall American economy, retail sales are holding up better than virtually any other industry segment and that will continue right through the holiday season.
So, while right now it’s not at all beginning to look a lot like Christmas, the light switch will go on pretty much instantaneously right after the election.