Just in case anybody has been living in a cave for the past year or so, there's an election campaign taking place. But according to our latest web poll at www.rubbernews.com, most of our readers have been keeping up.
And that's vital, because whoever comes up the victor will have a tremendous impact on the future direction not only of the country, but also what happens in the rubber product industries and the business sectors it serves.
We posed the question, “Who do you think will win the U.S. presidential election?” The thought was that asking the question in this manner would produce a much different dynamic than, “Who do you plan to vote for?”
And given the election has focused attention on the large negative impressions voters have of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the final choice was, “I wish it were none of the above.”
Normally, our web polls garner anywhere from 150 to more than 200 votes, with hot button topics going higher. This election poll, though, easily exceeded 500 responses, one of the most ever.
As for the results, a little more than a third believe Trump will win, about a third see Clinton being victorious and—not surprisingly—more than a quarter of the respondents wish the choices were “none of the above.”
The alternative party candidates didn't fare well, with 3 percent believing Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson will win and not a single person choosing Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee. This is an indication that no third-party candidates will garner nearly enough support to change the course of the election, as Ralph Nader arguably did in 2000.
From an industry standpoint, one thing is obvious: Rubber firms, as they always have, will run their businesses in the best manner to be successful, no matter who becomes president. Of course, the directions they take will vary depending on the victor.
A Clinton victory likely brings a continuation of aggressive environmental legislation, an effort to re-establish Glass-Steagall, the Banking Act of 1933 that places tougher regulations on Wall Street, and a continuation of more liberal policies from the Labor Department and the National Labor Relations Board. If Trump wins, we can probably expect a rollback of some of these regulations, as well as a more aggressive anti-immigration policy.
Other issues that impact manufacturing will be determined not only by who becomes the next president, but also by which party controls the Senate and House of Representatives. Who is in charge impacts such things as trade agreements and tariffs; the slow but steady growth of domestic manufacturing; and a much-needed plan to update the nation's infrastructure.
If our poll is any indication, you're paying very close attention.
Meyer is editor of Rubber & Plastics News. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @bmeyerRPN.