Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Poll Shows Voters Don't Care About Gas Prices: 'It's Not Like We're Driving to a Job'

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- With the Labor Day holiday fast approaching, along with the travel that generally accompanies it, American consumers seem certain to focus on the recent spike in gasoline prices, which had subsided after a national average peak of $3.49 per gallon in April but rose again Monday to $3.72 a gallon. For those living in California -- a state that consistently outpaces the nation in higher gas prices -- the news is worse. Chevron's Richmond refinery fire over a week ago signaled a 40-cent increase at the pumps for the Golden State's motorists. California now averages $4.10 per gallon. Concerns over the economic impact of the climbing rates have prompted President Obama to consider releasing oil reserves from U.S. stockpiles to alleviate the pinch on consumers, particularly important during an election year. However, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll published Tuesday indicates that soaring gas prices ranked last in the top 10 factors likely to influence voters this November.

Obama's job performance, the poll found, would be evaluated more by his perceived effect on the country's direction, healthcare, the economy, employment, foreign policy, immigration, and education. Lagging behind all of these issues was, surprisingly, the price of gas.

"Gas prices, relative to the rest of this stuff, are much less important," Ipsos pollsters said.

Some analysts view the shift in attitude as a positive sign, revealing that most Americans are beginning to grasp how little control the president has over oil prices, despite claims by Newt Gingrich that, if elected, he directly could have set prices for any commodity in the U.S. market or throughout his proposed lunar colonies. But polling experts said the response had nothing to do with that:

We think most Americans don't worry about an empty tank emptying their wallets because they have nowhere to be. With unemployment the way it is, and the economy still circling the drain, where do Americans have to go? It's not like they're all driving off to a job or the mall or the unemployment office...because those checks stopped coming a long time ago. We think a more apt interpretation of the data is they just don't give a tinker's damn -- tinkers statistically having an almost 100-percent jobless rate today. No, they're all sitting at home hoping Harold Camping's next End Times prediction will be right. And soon. It's a little ironic, isn't it, that the candidates have raised over a billion dollars for campaign ads to convince voters they'll be able to create jobs, yet not a single unemployed person went back to work as a result of any of that money? So yeah, nobody gives a crap about gas. The next time a lot of Americans will need to fill up a tank is on the U-Haul they'll be renting to move out of their foreclosed homes.

(c) 2012. See disclaimers.
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