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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.

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    Remains of the Data

    Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

    The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

    Political Crumbs

    Seeing Red

    Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


    Home Field Advantage?

    When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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