Hmmmmmm.. could this be a nefarious plot of the Petroleum Poobahs in Washington????
It’s A Gas
Aug 30, 2006 12:47 pm
Have you noticed? Gas prices are on the way down. Some experts are predicting that by November, they may be down in the two-dollar-per-gallon range we thought wed never see again. (Link: www.usatoday.com) The head of OPEC says the current $70 a barrel price of crude oil is satisfactory. (Link: www.usatoday.com)
How might this good news affect the national and local elections? Consider the historical correlation between presidential popularity and gas prices. (Link: www.businessweek.com)
George W. Bushs woeful ratings are a consequence of more than just $3 a gallon gas, of course, but a sharp drop at the pump and its attendant economic benefits cannot fail to leave voters feeling at least somewhat better about the state of things. Throw in a relatively quiet stretch in Iraq and the Middle East or even some positive news out of there and the status quo might be looking considerably better by fall than it has in some time.
Its hard to see that scenario as anything short of a nightmare for the national Democratic leadership, which has built its entire case for change on Bushs poor performance. Stop the next ten people you see on the street and ask them what positives they attach to Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Howard Dean et al, and chances are youll soon be stopped and questioned by police.
What about here at home? Kerry Healey may soon have to ditch the line about suspending the gas tax from her campaign ads; if prices drop this dramatically, no one will care anymore. But if we are in for an autumn of optimism and relief from economic pressure, you can expect it to benefit incumbents across the board. We already appear headed for an anemic primary-election turnout which, if it occurs, would undercut the notion that an aroused electorate is angry and ready to demand change. Why rock the boat when its picking up steam?
So watch the gas prices. They may tell you more about whats up with Campaign 2006 than any debate or TV ad.