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Dropping Gasoline: Dropping Support for Democrats?

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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.

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3 Comments


  • Do you think it has more to do with gas prices, or the Republican drum-beating surrounding 9/11?

    Look at the polls again in a couple weeks... I'm guessing some of this is a temporary bump based on the politicization of 9/11 by Bush & co.

  • > Look at the polls again in a couple weeks... I'm guessing some of this is a temporary bump based on the politicization of 9/11 by Bush & co.

    Will do. Some economists and pundits have also speculated that citizen rage over the past year's rising gas prices was muted as they did not quite peak high enough to truly generate a change in orientation that might impact voting behavior ($4 or $5 per gallon prices might be necessary to do that).

  • Unfortunately, it would seem that the public is being slowly acclimatized to increased gas prices, as $4 to $5 per gallon was considered outrageous in 2006, but today we are seeing $3.60 to $4.00 per gallon prices constantly.

    This in turn has forced so many other prices to rise due to transportation costs. Threats of $4.00 to $5.00 per gallon no longer seem so devastating to the public, because we've been seeing nearly $4 per gallon for so long.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

    Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

    Political Crumbs

    Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

    Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


    An Idaho Six Pack

    Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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