CHICAGO — Political seasons always draw our attention sharply to the issues of the day.
Sixty-one percent of dry cleaners who responded to this month’s American Drycleaner Your Views survey say that, among today’s chief political issues, the economy will most influence the ballot they cast for president this fall.
No other choices—homeland security (14%), “other” (10%), immigration (5%), gun control (4%), healthcare (4%) and the enviroment (2%)—were even close.
Nearly two-thirds of dry cleaners responding (65%) say they support the Republican ticket of Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Twelve percent favor Democrats Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, and 4% support Libertarians Gary Johnson and Bill Weld.
Nineteen percent of respondents aren’t sure who they will vote for. No one taking the survey favors the Green Party ticket or a party other than those previously identified.
We asked what political issues, whether national or local, are having an impact on their drycleaning business. There was abundant evidence of the economy’s influence in many responses:
- “The strength of the economy.”
- “Lack of jobs for middle class, our customer base.”
- “Economy, immigration, homeland security, environment are all critical.”
- “Economy. A healthy economy brings more business. We always have the upper class but drawing in the middle class is more difficult with a slow economy because dry cleaning is seen as a luxury or luxury items.”
Which election do you think influences your business more? Among the majority of respondents, it’s the presidential election (48%). Next is state elections (25%), followed by congressional (20%), local (4%) and “other” (3%).
The polling question that received the most individual comments was this one: “Regardless of who is elected, what is the one issue that the next presidential administration must address immediately and why?” Some examples:
- “If we raise minimum wages across the board, we as retailers will in turn raise our price to the consumer. Economics will increase and we can all say we are doing better as a nation. But our bottom line will still remain the same.”
- “Balance the budget, stop government waste and gridlock.”
- “Illegal immigration.”
- “Homeland security, because it isn’t nearly secure enough now.”
- “Conscience protections. If we are not free to live by our conscience and must bend to the heavy hand of government, we are not free.”
- “Violence and gun control.”
- “Increasing pay levels for people that have had stagnant wages.”
- Several respondents simply answered “economy,” but one responded with a finer point: “Economic growth, because we've got to grow ourselves out of this malaise.”
The American Drycleaner Your Views survey is a snapshot of the audience’s views and is in no way scientific. Qualified subscribers to American Drycleaner e-mails are invited to participate anonymously in a survey each quarter.