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Poll: Americans to spend 3 to 4 percent more on holiday shopping this year

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Americans are likely to spend between three and four percent more on their holiday shopping this year than last, in an apparent sign of increased consumer confidence, according to a survey published Wednesday.

The poll, conducted jointly by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), found 12 percent of consumers said they would spend more on holiday purchases in 2012 than 2011.

That compares to just eight percent of respondents who said the same thing when polled this time last year.

A statement accompanying the annual survey said that this year’s planned increase in spending by some consumers “may well reflect perceived improvement in their financial situation.”

Meanwhile, the percentage of people who said they would spend less on gifts this year than last was 38 percent — three percent less than the number of people who gave that response in last year’s poll.

“Our survey results suggest that holiday spending this year will likely rise by between three and four percent compared to last year,” said Bill Hampel, chief economist for CUNA.

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“This represents the fourth year of gradual improvement in holiday spending plans since a sharp decline in such plans in 2008.”

The November 9-13 telephone survey of about a thousand subjects found that many Americans are willing to part with more of their money this holiday season despite sizable financial constraints, including high mortgage payments, student loans and credit card payments.

People with lower incomes were more likely than well-off Americans to say that their financial circumstances had worsened this year compared to last, and were correspondingly less likely to report plans to spend as freely.

But the poll also made what it called the “anomalous” finding that Democrats — who are less financially well-off than Republicans on average — were more likely to increase their holiday spending this year.

The pollsters surmised that this may be the case in part because of the election victory earlier this month that saw Barack Obama returned to the White House for a second four-year term, which might have buoyed Democrats’ spirits and loosened their purse strings.

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Virginia Democrats are so fired up that the party chair had to scold them: ‘Sit down — be quit’

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Democrats in Virginia are fired up as they gathered in Richmond for their annual gala dinner.

Political analysts believe the Democratic Party of Virginia has a good chance to win control of the state legislature in 2019's election, before setting their sights on the Commonwealth continuing its recent trend of voting Democratic in presidential elections.

Patrick Wilson, a political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, attended the event.

He reported that Democrats were so "noisy" that it was hard to hear the speakers, which include presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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‘Everyone knows what to expect’ at Trump’s Amway Center re-election kickoff

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Donald Trump considers himself a legendary salesman, but can he really sell America on giving him four more drama-filled years at the White House?

Tuesday, he'll make his big pitch.

The 2020 reelection kickoff rally is being held in Orlando, Florida and campaign operations chief Michael Glassner says the "historic" event "has already generated tens of thousands of ticketing requests."

There's little mystery about how the night will go down.

Expect Trump, the self-promoting hero of his ghost-written book "The Art of the Deal," to claim the US economy is richer, the military stronger, and the country more respected than ever in history.

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Florida man’s own family blasts him after he was arrested for racist threats: ‘This isn’t how we were raised’

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After a Florida man was arrested for trying to start a race war, a member of his own family slammed his values.

"A Florida man’s social media posts that threatened violence against African-Americans, Jews and homosexuals and that urged his followers to start a race war netted him a $1 million bond," the Miami Herald reported Saturday. "And then there’s another $100,000 bond he would have to pay to get out of Lee County Jail because of a weapons charge."

Joshua Leff, 40, is being held in the Lee County Jail.

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