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Print

Release Date: 11/01/2012

Consumer Reports Poll: Outcome of Presidential Election Could Be Drag on Holiday Spending

Nearly a Third of Americans Expect Holiday Season to be Less Cheerful if Their Candidate Loses

YONKERS, NY – Next week’s U.S. presidential election could have lingering effects on the 2012 holiday shopping season, according to a new poll by Consumer Reports. Thirty-one percent of Americans said that the election would have at least some impact on how much they spent during the holiday season—including 17 percent who said their spending would be impacted a lot by it. And while a third (33 percent) said that they expect this holiday season to be happier than last year, 31 percent expect the opposite to be true should their preferred presidential candidate lose the election.

The full results of the Consumer Reports Poll are available at www.ConsumerReports.org.

The presidential election is just one of several factors that could be a drag on holiday sales this year. According to Consumer Reports poll, half of Americans (53 percent) feel that gas prices and the current state of the economy will have an impact on their holiday gifts spending. Thirty-six percent identified job security as a factor, while 34 percent cited their own personal debt as something that would impact their spending this holiday season.

“Our survey revealed that while the presidential election is on the minds of many Americans as the holiday shopping season gets underway, so too — and to a larger extent — are some of the same pocket book issues that have been weighing on the minds of holiday shoppers for several years now such as the price of gas, job security, and their own personal debt,” said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior editor and resident shopping expert.

The Consumer Reports poll also revealed that 20 percent of Americans plan to spend more money on holiday gifts than they did last holiday season — up 5 percentage points from last year at this time. Thirty-two percent said that they will spend less money than last year. Americans spent an average of $514 dollars on gifts during the 2011 holiday shopping season, according to a previous Consumer Reports poll.

Consumer Reports Poll Methodology
The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a telephone survey of a nationally representative probability sample of telephone households. 1,013 interviews were completed among adults aged 18+. Interviewing took place over October 25-28, 2012. The margin of error is +/- 3.1% points at a 95% confidence level.

Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually.  Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications.  Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

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