It is difficult though, with so many people here still so out of sync. Many are homeless and in need of basic supplies while others who have a home remain without power amid temperatures that have been dropping into the 20s and 30s at night. Our publisher, Whitney Sielaff, is among those who, at least as of Friday, remained without power at his home in a rural area of western New Jersey.

As those in the Northeast work to piece their lives back together, time marches on. The election is over and, as hard as it is to believe, Thanksgiving is only about two weeks from now, which means the holiday shopping season is basically here.

So, what impact will the two major “storms,” Hurricane Sandy and the U.S. presidential election, have on the upcoming holiday season? Though there is much speculation, the answer that seems to rings clearest is: probably not too much.

Prior to the election, Unity Marketing President Pam Danziger issued a press release stating that Republican challenger Mitt Romney would be better for business if elected because wealthy consumers feel that he is on their side. Conversely, they feel the Obama administration “is coming straight for them” with increased taxes, regulations and health-care costs.

Interestingly, the day before the election, Danziger’s marketing firm issued a press release stating that wealthy consumers are feeling better about the economy and more confident about their futures, and actually spent significantly more money in the third quarter than they did in the second quarter.

So, I felt it my patriotic duty to circle back to Danziger and ask her what she expected for the fourth quarter, with the understanding of course that this third-quarter enthusiasm enveloped the country’s richest citizens before Obama won re-election on Nov. 6. (Though, one could argue, anyone that had the good sense to listen to The New York Times numbers guru Nate Silver knew Obama was going to win well beforehand.)

What Danziger said basically is that she doesn’t have any fourth-quarter predictions, that it is “anybody’s guess.” She said was “very surprised” by the positive perspective expressed in the third-quarter survey.

Danziger also noted that apparently many “business people and pundits” agree that a Romney presidency would have been better for business as the stock market took a nosedive on Nov. 7, a point that has been made elsewhere.

Danziger’s perspective on Romney vs. Obama was interesting to me, especially since most of the jewelers I spoke with in the run-up to the election said that while business might stall before the big day, it returns to normal afterward no matter who wins. People will get back to shopping regardless if their candidate won or lost; they just like to know the outcome.

And in his holiday forecast, longtime industry analyst Ken Gassman predicted some “lingering negative impact, especially as the losers,” (Romney and the Republicans, in this case) he wrote, “lick their wounds.”

But he expects that retail sales will return to normal about four to six weeks after the election, meaning some time in early December.

As for Sandy’s impact on the holiday season, Gassman said his guess right now is that jewelry sales in the aggregate U.S. won’t be affected that much, just as they didn’t decline as much as expected following 9/11.

He still doing some Silver-like number-crunching to determine what Sandy might mean for retailers in the Northeast, though, so it’s definitely something we’ll be revisiting here in the coming weeks.

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Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.