Americans Trust Obama, Not McCain, to Lower Gas Prices

Wonder why John McCain recently ramped up his obfuscation campaign on gas prices, launching screed after screed about getting rid of the federal gas tax for the summer (not mentioning, of course, that this wouldn't actually lower the price of a gas of gasoline for the American consumer, while at the same time either cutting key funding -- and thus jobs -- in highways or growing the national debt)? This from the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll should provide a bit of an answer:

Six percent in the new poll call gas and energy prices the single most important issue in the presidential election now underway. In February, under 1 percent highlighted the issue as tops. Asked which candidate they trust to deal with the situation, 50 percent said Barack Obama and 30 percent said John McCain. Eleven percent said neither presumptive nominee is better on gas prices.

This has got to be a focus of the Obama campaign going forward, pressing this already present advantage on the issue of gas prices. With the potential of five or even (oy gevalt) six dollar a gallon gas near the time of election day, energy issues aren't likely to come off the collective mind of the American people any time soon. And as a memo to John McCain, I would just say that going and pandering to oil executives probably isn't the way to assure voters that you're going to be any better on the issue than George W. Bush.

Tags: 2008, gas prices, gas tax (all tags)

Comments

17 Comments

Re: Americans Trust Obama, Not McCain, to Lower Ga

Having Al Gore endorse in Detroit was a ballsy and smart move.  Karl Rove was very "concerned" for Barack for doing so, since the prevailing, wrong, wisdom is that environmentalism destroys manufacturing jobs... especially auto manufacturing jobs.

Right now, it's lack of an environmental and intelligent energy policy that is destroying auto manufacturing jobs.  People aren't buying trucks and SUV's anymore.  Unless Detroit changes its tune (and may need to be forced to change its tune), where will be no Big 3 to speak of anymore...

The way to reduce oil prices is to get rid of the need for it... hybrids are great, plug-ins are better... even republicans I know like the idea of personal wind turbines on their property to lower the cost of energy.  

A forward looking energy policy can revitalize america... a regressive one will set us back for decades.

People realize that adding a trickle of oil won't do much for gas or energy prices.  A new approach is needed!

by LordMike 2008-06-17 05:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Americans Trust Obama, Not McCain, to Lower Ga

Well .. look at the Great Orange Satan's FP right now .. Obama was helping fill sandbags in Iowa this weekend .. while McCain was filling his money bags .. tells you all you need to know .. doesn't it?

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2008-06-17 07:17AM | 0 recs
asdf

This is hugely important. This election will be all about the gas prices. Even if it doesn't become the main media theme. Most Americans are finally getting the message that all is not well in the happy motoring land and something needs to be done and soon.

by abraxas 2008-06-17 05:59AM | 0 recs
Forget it


Gas prices are not going down,

Neither Obama nor McCain can do anything about it.

by TaiChiMaster 2008-06-17 06:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Forget it

word.  not sure that's such a bad thing either.

by the mollusk 2008-06-17 06:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Forget it
Sure there is, reduce consumption
Mandate hybrids
Mandate Solar thermal plants in places like San Diego, LA, Phoenix, Las Vegas
Bring on more wind power
by gil44 2008-06-17 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Forget it

that sounds more like a reasonable response to high gas prices rather than a strategy to bring them down.  i mean, the ultimate effect may be the same, but there's no way you could convince anyone that these steps are necessary in the absence of high gas prices.

by the mollusk 2008-06-17 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Forget it

Maybe, but I'm not sure the correct approach shouldn't be to accept rising fuel costs as the ultimate consequence of our dependence on and carelessness with fossil fuel, while at the same time providing supports, through tax breaks as well as direct compensation (heating assistance, gas credits) to low income users.  

Although this is probably a good thing in the long run for a number of reasons, those at the bottom of the economic heap (no not those suffering a strain but those literally unable to buy food now if they pay their fuel bills) need a hand badly.  I can only imagine what the run on the existing heating assistance programs is going to be like this winter.

We need to acknowlege that the degrees of suffering from this really are very different; the middle class family forgoing a vacation and the minimum wage earners forgoing, well everything.

Big difference.

by mady 2008-06-17 07:59AM | 0 recs
I disagree

"This has got to be a focus of the Obama campaign going forward, pressing this already present advantage on the issue of gas prices."

While I think some of the current gas prices is a speculative bubble and collateral damage caused by the weak dollar, that doesn't mean that Obama will be able to fix it easily.  If you run on gas prices and can't actually lower them, it doesn't help you.  Better to use the issues that you know you can effect.

by thezzyzx 2008-06-17 06:09AM | 0 recs
Re: I disagree

I disagree with your disagreement. Just because it cannot be fixed easily doesn't mean you can't campaign on it. As a matter of fact the US needs strong leadership in terms of energy independence and McCain is not it.

Something should have been done about the energy policy years ago but the Jesusland decided they wanted their oil exec saints in the Whitehouse. Actually their pain makes for a nice schaedenfraude.... but I'm rambling.

Anyway, the only way gas prices can be lowered is with a big push for alternative energy rail transport and plug in hybrids. Without the right economic mixture we might not be able to stave off collapse. Obama is America's last chance to straighten out the situation before chaos ensues.

by abraxas 2008-06-17 06:27AM | 0 recs
Focus on policies rather than prices alone

In my area (Pinellas County: St. Petersburg, Clearwater...), the mass transit authority (ie., buses only) last month proposed cutting and reducing routes due to high gas prices.  At a time when people need more mass transit options, they may be getting fewer.  

This is just an anecdote but I think it's symptomatic of the problem of focusing on gas prices alone: Even if gas prices are lowered in the short-term, the same problem will arise again in the future. I have a hunch people finally understand that.

Granted, people do need relief. Also, I think the press is behind the curve on reporting the dual whammy of inflationary pressures and economic slow-downs due to rising fuel prices.  

Though Bush never asked for any sacrifices from the public for his wars, people are (involuntarily) sacrificing for our malformed energy policies.  

A short-term fuel price strategy is needed but, collectively we probably have reached the same stage of conservation awareness that the country achieved in the late 1960s with respect to environmental issues. Especially younger voters get it, like they did in the 1960s.  

by sawgrass727 2008-06-17 06:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Americans Trust Obama, Not McCain, to Lower Ga

How can we expect gas prices to go down when the US is participating in an oil embargo against itself?  Why not follow Brazil's lead and tap the incredible oil and gas resources on our Outer Continental Shelf while simultaneously pushing renewable fuels hard?  We are still going to use oil and gas for a long time.  Instead of shipping several trillion dollars overseas to buy that energy, why not use what we've got here during the transition?  Frankly, Obama's support of the OCS moratorium is giving me pause because it is absolutely senseless.  I hope he comes to his senses. (E.g., follow Bingaman's ideas in seeking increased domestic production and renewables).

by DemOutWest 2008-06-17 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Americans Trust Obama, Not McCain, to Lower Ga

The more you focus on keeping gas prices down the higher they will go. Short term patches guarantee long term pain.

While Reagan was ripping the solar panels off the White House that Jimmy Carter installed the Brazilian government was mandating a long term move to sugar based ethanol. When gas prices plummeted after the 70's gas crisis I'm sure there were a lot of SUV driving conservatives laughing at the Brazilians. They aren't laughing any more.

by hankg 2008-06-17 06:44AM | 0 recs
McCain's plan

Is there anyone here who is going to defend McCain's summer gas tax plan? Or have they all gone to His44? Because I remember an awful lot of diaries around here talking about what an awesome freakin' idea that gas tax holiday was...

by alvernon 2008-06-17 06:51AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's plan

Hillary was going to make the oil companies pay for the gas-tax holiday so there would be no net hit on the Highway Fund.

I still like the idea.

McCain?  Not so much.

by dembluestates 2008-06-17 07:15AM | 0 recs
she was going to try

but that plan was probably not workable.  It's quite difficult to prevent companies from passing at least some portion of their tax burden onto the consumers.

by JJE 2008-06-17 07:36AM | 0 recs
Issues

In the absence of mass transit alternatives, rising gas prices and consequent inflation throughout the economy have a viciously destructive impact on those of us in the lower economic strata.  People who talk about these high prices as "a good thing" may be right in the long term, but sound damned elitist and out of touch to the blue-collar workers.  Frankly, some of the folks I work with will vote for whoever promises to do something about rising prices.

Obama can run on this . . . and win, I have no doubts . . . but it needs to be framed as part of an overall economic package that doesn't sound like told-ya-so or suck-it-up-it's-good-for-ya.

by prodigal 2008-06-17 09:09AM | 0 recs

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