Upper Midwesterns have certainly rejoiced at the drop in gas prices during the past few weeks. The current price for a gallon of gas in the Midwest is now $2.45, falling 15 cents a gallon from a week ago and 31 cents a gallon in two weeks. In Minnesota, the price has fallen 41 cents a gallon in two weeks, from $2.79 to $2.38.
This drop appears to be correlated to an increase in support for republicans in a generic congressional matchup with democrats. A national FOX News Poll conducted August 29-30 found democrats to be the preference of 48% of voters, compared to just 32% for the GOP. A FOX News Poll taken this week finds Democrats leading only 41% to 38%, a large net 13-point gain for the republicans.
One of the big questions throughout Campaign 2006 is whether or not the adage "All politics is local" will be trumped by the notion that perceived, prolonged bad news coming out of Iraq will hurt republicans nationally in November. The flip side of this question now becomes whether or not sustained good news for the consumer in gas prices could have the reverse, positive effect for republican candidates across the nation.