PALM DESERT, Calif. -

Service has been the cornerstone of Stu Spencer's life ever since he served in the Navy during World War II.

"You're a very fortunate person if you can find something that you can do well in life and make a living at," Spencer said. "That's a rare occasion. It was a generation that was going to save the world, and friends come and ask you if they want you to do something, you help them. And I got involved as a volunteer in the political process, and I said I kind of like this."

From one battlefield to the other, Spencer served on the front lines of many political battles around the world, including the gubernatorial and presidential campaigns for Ronald Reagan.

"When he showed up for a shooting of any scene in any movie he was in, he had to know the script, he had to know what he was supposed to do, [and] he had to give it some thought," Spencer said. "He had a discipline, and that translates to politics from the standpoint he was always on message."

Spencer said he even remembers one particular conversation he and Reagan had during one of his gubernatorial campaigns in the 1960s.

"He said, 'I figured out this politics," Spencer said. "I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'It's just like show business. You have a big, good opening, you coast for a while, and you have a great closing.' You know he's right. And I wasn't happy with him. Being a pro, I wasn't happy with his oversimplification. But as I left, I knew he got to me because I could hear him laughing up and down the hall."

But while he said campaigning hasn't changed for the most part, Spencer said the 2016 race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump has been a race unlike any other.

"Both of these candidates have more negatives than any other candidates I've seen in my life together," Spencer said. "They're not liked individually, and they have all kinds of negatives and high ratings."

Other candidates Spencer has worked with include Nelson Rockefeller and Gerald Ford.

He said he believes organization, meaning how candidates will find their voters, is what ultimately will decide this election.