2016 doesn’t feel much different than the last time we were in New Orleans
The season is almost over. No, not spa season and not the fall season — I’m talking about election season.
I write this column five weeks before Election Day with no clear presidential frontrunner. Trump’s sexist audiotapes and Clinton’s WikiLeaks email scandal dominate headlines.
In every election cycle since 2008, SpaRetailer has conducted a survey about dealers’ politics. The complete survey can be found on page 27, and the results never fail to surprise us.
Seventy-four percent of spa retailers surveyed identify with the Republican Party (up from 57 percent in 2010); 15 percent Democrat; and 12 percent Independent. Most striking: the 65 percent of respondents who say this is the worst election cycle of their lifetime (even before the latest news). Seventy-one percent say they believe the country is worse off than in 2012.
I’ve got a serious case of political déjà vu. It seems like yesterday when President Obama won re-election while we were in New Orleans at the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo. How can four years go by that fast? Walking the exhibit hall the next day was surreal. If you were an Obama supporter, the mood was optimistic and hopeful; for Romney supporters, the mood was more somber.
Regardless of who wins November 8, civility and compromise appears to be a casualty of modern politics. It’s easy to see why so many voters are passionate about their candidate — the stakes couldn’t be higher. Days after the last election, our country’s political brain trust (Obama, Romney, Reid, McConnell, Boehner, Pelosi) all pledged to work together to make American business competitive. My first thought was Dr. Phil’s famous quote: “How’s that working for you?”
A recent Gallup poll gives Congress a 13 percent approval rating. I can only hope our next president will have a bit more success on this front. What can I say? I’m an optimist at heart.