November 6th, 2007
12:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Gas prices, economy may be next big '08 issue

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As gas prices hit $3 a gallon, a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll shows high gas prices are hurting a majority of Americans.

The new poll results may be an indication of what Americans will focus on for the 2008 presidential election.

Sixty three percent of Americans say the high gas prices are a hardship for their families with 37 percent saying it is not

“What we saw yesterday is the economy has jumped to the top of the list of most important problems, beating Iraq by a point,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Clearly gas prices have a great deal to do with that.”

The poll was conducted on November 2 -4 and included 1,024 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus three percent.

- CNN Political Producer Xuan Thai

Filed under: Polls
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Posted By Kim, Midland MI: "So how is this not the biggest rip off of Americans, ever?"

    This is exactly the type of blame the government and the oil industry it isn't my fault reaction I knew would come.

    How incredibly short sighted people are. Oil is traded in dollars. The United States insisted on this years ago. The dollar is weak right now guessed it. A barrel of oil that would have sold for $60 yesterday sells for more today. And what does that mean? Gas prices are higher.

    In the last two years the percentage of people living in China who own a car has increase by a multiple of 3. This rapid growth is expected to increase for the next 5 years. With a Chinese population exceeding 1.3 billion people what would be the expected impact of new car owners on the oil market? Anyone?

    Here is a piece of useless trivia for you. The top 10% of the Chinese population is larger than the entire population of the United States. Can anyone guess why domestic corporations would seek labor in China. Not only is it cheap. They also perform at a higher standard.

    The United States better wake up and do it quickly. There is a steam roller coming and it has "Made in China" stamped all over it.

    By the way Kim, when was the last time you rode a bicycle or walked? That right there is the biggest rip off of America. It's called the lack of personal responsibility.

    November 6, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  2. Matt, Pennsylvania

    Here's a simple way o end the as 'crisis'

    Remove all trucks, SUVs, and sports cars from the road. If You own one of these vehicles, a separate 'gas guzzler' tax will be added to your vehicle registration. It would also be added on top of any fees when purchasing a new vehicle. That tax will then be used to subsidize roads and hydrogen fueling facilities.

    If this is implemented, then we will see two things occur. Everyone will dump their gas guzzling hogs and the country will be running on clean burning hydrogen, free of all oil companies and the terrorist barbarians in the middle east.

    It's simple, logical, and penalizes the people that created this problem. Only reason it hasn't happened yet is because all politicians, even the tree hugging dems, are owned by Big Oil and its greasy money.

    November 6, 2007 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  3. CNB, Washington State

    Responding to those of you that are defending the fact that oil prices have jumped by stating that America just needs to cut back on our excesses and buy smaller cars; I have the feeling you are of the "above average salary" demographic. How can't you see how badly this affects lower income American families? First off when a tank of gas takes a person making minimum wage work almost a full 8 hour shift to pay for I think that's over the line. Also imagine if you can (not sure a rich jerk like yourself has a soul let alone an imagination) those "minor" increases in the costs of food and other essentials you're really hurting lower class Americans, and the Oil company's are getting rich off of it... why can't you as Americans think of even your own FELLOW CITIZENS that might be effected by this. I myself believe the U.S. Government needs to step in and set a flat rate for oil and if the oil companies don't like it, too bad don't let them sell oil in this country. If our country was still a place where grass roots political change was possible we could have organized a strike by now and forced these prices down.... but there's too many rich jerks out there like some of you that posted earlier.

    November 6, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. David, Gilbert Arizona

    "The top 10% of the Chinese population is larger than the entire population of the United States."

    What I meant to say is China and Inda combined, which are the two major labor markets domestic corporations look at. Regardless my meaning is still very clear.

    The Me Generation mentality can't last much longer.

    November 6, 2007 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. Karen,ny

    Brendan..No it isn't just a coincidence, most of us know what is going on with the oil and are powerless to do anything about it. That is why we have all these people in Congress who are suppose to help protect us and they are not. They are also run by the BIG conglomerates. We are all on our own, so get use to it because no matter who we elect it will never matter.

    November 6, 2007 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  6. Dave in Tampa Bay Florida


    Posted By RAINIE FT MYERS, FL : November 6, 2007 2:48 pm"

    Get a grip Rainie. It is simply supply and demand. Block drilling for oil in Alaska and The Gulf of Mexico (while China and Cuba do so unfettered I might add), and then make opening new refineries impossible by regulation and expensive permitting processes – and BINGO! you have oil at $100 a barrel and gasoline at $3 a gallon. It has little to do with Bush and everything to do with cumulative failed energy polices since the Nixon administration and overzealous environmentalist interference (no new drilling, no new refineries mantra)in market forces.

    Bush, at best, is the tip of the iceberg. If you think things are screwed up now, just wait until the global warming crowd starts taxing carbon based resources (in case you didn't know, OIL and GAS are carbon based.

    November 6, 2007 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. brian

    The next big issue? It's been a big issue in my part of the country for years now.

    November 6, 2007 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  8. Justin, Tacoma WA

    And yet none of you are willing to give up driving your SUVs.
    I doubt the blame for that can be laid on Bush.

    November 6, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  9. xtina - chicago IL

    France and many European countries successfully expanded nuclear energy; why can't we? ANWAR has oil, it's right in our backyard; why can't we drill there? Fidel Castro's administration is starting to exploit the oil south of Fla.- Why aren't we?

    November 6, 2007 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  10. colony14 author, Mt Prospect, Illinois

    The solution is simple: drill for more oil in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico, open new refineries, and start new nuclear plants. Oh, wait, we can't do any of those things because we might upset the environment of a snail. Okay, then shut up and pay $3, $4, or $5 per gallon, because taxing the profits of the oil industry certainly isn't going to make matters better – you don't get more investment by taxing it more heavily.

    The people moaning today about the high cost of oil are the same people who years ago wanted a stiff gas tax in order to promote investment in alternate sources of energy. Well, I'm not holding my breath for someone to invent a perpetual motion machine.

    Yes, the cost of oil will no doubt affect the 2008 elections, and probably for the worse.

    November 6, 2007 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  11. Hawk, Texas


    November 6, 2007 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  12. Mark, San Diego, CA

    Please no one listen to Dave in Tampa, above.

    That's just irresponsible, to pretend that we can magically solve oil supply issues in the US by unrestricted drilling in the Alsaska or the Gulf. That's the short-sighted answer. These reserves are quite small and will dry up quickly.

    That "solution" is equivalent to saying you can buy that bigger house now by spending your 401k now, screw the future.

    No, just a poorly drafted attempt to blame liberal policies on our energy crisis. People, we need alternative energy, not more drilling!

    November 6, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  13. CK, Arlington, VA

    Right on, Dave in Tampa Bay Florida. It is amazing to me how simple-minded some folks are. The only thing I can figure is they truly do believe the Government has all the answers. They really do want a central Government control (a socialist state) to watch over them and to dictate their every move. Why they have such distrust,or at the minimum ignorance, of the free market puzzles me. Look at the latest from Hillary, wanting the CAFE limit raised to 55 mpg by 2030. If fuel prices keep rising the way they are, we, the consumers don't need some bone-head politician (and lawyer) dictating what vehicles we buy, free market pressures will have all ready decided that.

    Enough already with blaming Bush for everything. It's getting ridiculous. And one other thing.....the sky is NOT falling folks. Get a grip!

    November 7, 2007 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  14. Anonymous, DC

    No denying we have some problems, but we don't need to throw the baby out with the bath water. Congress needs to rein in spending; tax revenues are already at an all time high. I fear a Democrat controlled Govt will increase Govt programs (entitlements and national health care) and corresponding spending with a repeal of Bush's tax cuts (read: "tax increase"). As a result, the economy will shrink, tax revenues will decline and pressures to increase taxes further will ensue to make up for the losses.

    If there are doubters of the positive effects of lower taxes on our economy, do yourselves a favor and Google: "tax cuts Ireland". Ireland, having taken the Conservative approach on taxes and lower Government regulations to spur their economy, is the envy of Europe and the bain of the EU.

    We should be learning from our own mistakes as well as from others who have suffered the ill effects of big Government and socialism. Wise up people.

    November 7, 2007 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  15. Jim Topeka, Kansas

    Well, let's try this once again. It really should come as no great surprise that the economy is right up there as a concern on 08. After all for most Americans it was a concern in 07, 06, 05, 04, 03,02 and yes 01. It's just that no one wanted to hear about it.

    Hundreds of thousands of jobs have left the nation, theses were high paying manufacturing jobs and high tech jobs. They have been replaced by a very proud adminstration as you can tell as they bragg about job growth from month to month. But of course the jobs that we are seeing created are equal to the jobs that have been moved overseas.

    Now as to oil, we have a tandum of Bush and Cheney, two oilmen. I personnally find it very interesting that we survived the first gulf war with no massive increases in energy costs. However, I find equally amazing that since these two have come in to being energy costs have gone in only one direction. I also seem to recall the stae of California after they took office being raked across the coals by energy producers. The administrations response was it was a free market economy and that there was no wrong doing. I also recall that the administration was proven wrong and that market manipulation was very much at the center of the California events. But then again this was still with Enron executives advising the administration as to national energy policy.

    So where do we stand to day. Oil on the verge of $100.00 per barrel, verus $25.00, a home morgage market that has the highest forclosure rates seen since the depression. But it is said its because individuals bought homes bigger han they could really afford. Seems that people have always wanted more than they could afford, so whats the difference today? Lending companies that don't care if someone is over committed, why, because they are going to sell that home loan before the ink even drys on the contract to a third party that is going to see all of this interest income just come rolling in to their coffers. Irresponsible lending practises have put the housing market where it is today.

    Next looming crisis is on credit card debit. Once again consumers are responsible for over spending, true, but that is only part of the tail of woe. Once apon a time in this nation banks measured an individuals ability and track record on finanicial management and responsibility prior to issuing credit. Credit cards were a item that an individual earned the privilege to carry by demonstrating the ability to manage ones finanical affairs. Today preapproved credit card applications are sent out to high school students. Got bad credit , no problem we we use to set up secured credit cards so you could demomstrate you renewed skills at managing you money and earn yourself a line of credit. Today, no problem we will issue you a unsecured credit card with a couple hundred dollars credit, charge you a 100 or so in fees and add ons, so what you receive is a credit card with say $75 credit on it and immediately get slapped with a over limit fee, just good buisness preying on the most ill prepared members of society.

    We are doing really well, the dollar is no longer worth a dime. People no longer want dollars and do not consider the dollar a safe investment. The Candain Loony has more value than the dollar, but at least this means our wealthy neighbors to the north can spend their money in our stores and help our economy.

    Ask yourself am I better off today than I was one year ago? Am I better off than I was 5 years ago? Am I better off than I was 10 years ago? Be truthful now. Have your wages maintained your purchasing ability, can you today do the same things that you could 5, 10 years ago, or has your discretionary income (what you have to spend after you pay your bills) decreased faster than your wages have risen. That means your profits have decreased.

    November 7, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. Tom Dedham, Mass

    There has to be a way to blame "the shrub" for this, let me see:

    He forces people to buy two and three cars including at least one SUV.

    He forced the Democrats to snuff out EVERY meaningful attempt to drill or use nuclear energy over the last 30 years.

    He forced Ted Kennedy to champion new energy ideas EXCEPT when it comes to "Cape Cahd" and then it is an eyesore. He put pressure on people to get this snuffed out, even though many experts deemed it a good idea.

    He forces everyone to buy IPODS, IPHONES, Cell phones, Play stations, Wie Consoles, $100 sneakers, $2500 Big screen TV's and every other high priced item that is "needed" for your home.

    He forced people to buy homes that they knowingly couldn't afford, just so we can bail them out.

    And Bush took action to help bail out the folks that SIGNED OFF ON the bad mortgages, but it got little to NO press.

    $3.00 a gallon, it has been more than that AROUND THE WORLD FOR YEARS but let's make it a political game piece.

    Blame this idiot for many things, but his across the board tax cuts (for people that actually pay taxes) made the CLINTON RECESSION the shortest ever.

    Bill had a good run due to the dotcom industry that guess what, WENT BUST as predicted and he also saved dough by GUTTING the military and the 6-10 attacks on US installations while HE was in office went pretty much undeterred.

    Unemployment is just as low now, the stock market is in new territory among many positives.

    Do we have people making $75,000 a year as programmers and IT specialists anymore, nope, blame NAFTA for that, now who signed off on NAFTA?

    You can also blame Michael Dell, Bill Gates and others for exporting those good paying jobs overseas, but it is easier to blame "the shrub".

    We made those bastards rich as hell and that is how Dell and Gates paid us back. I work in the field, so it effects me big time.

    Most of the economic indicators including the GDP have shown immense growth and considering the recession that he inherited and the FACT that 9-11 would have KILLED a weak economy, we are doing OK.

    Should Bush be hammered for not putting the screws to the oil companies and for not doing enough in regards to alternative fuels, you bet, these are things that should be done NOW or at least looked at with a little more expedience.

    Feel free to dispute me, unlike "Hillarity" I can take it, but while you do, look around your house and add up how many of the big ticket items that I listed DO YOU OWN?

    November 7, 2007 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  17. therealist

    Hey America, buy smaller cars. –Brit, London

    I spend $1500 a year on gas for my SUV(tank) that get 20 mpg. Now lets compare that to your small car that get 40 mpg.

    I would save $750 per year in gas, no doubt.
    But I have 2 toddlers, what is the value of their safety? Is $750, $1000 or even $1500 a year really worth the risk of driving them around in Atlanta traffic in a small car? I don't think so..

    November 7, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. Mary, Beaver, PA

    Dave, CK and Anonymous, you are absolutely right. But you can't blame people for thinking that government has the answers to all problems. That's what they are taught in their government schools. It's not for nothing that people like Lincoln and FDR are touted as Great Presidents in these government schools. They both expanded the grasp of federal government at the expense of states' rights and individual liberty. As for the study of economics, it either isn't taught or it's taught by collectivists who hate or know nothing about free-market capitalism. Look at what we have now: Adults who want a government program for every social problem, who want to be baby-sat, who refuse to take responsibility for their lives, and who want to tie the hands of industry out of envy for the success of others. Exactly what power-hungry politicians want: People who won't make a move on their own unless it's directed or sanctioned by the Mommy State.

    God help our country as it slinks along towards a socialist state.

    November 7, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. r schier norwalk,ct

    $8/gal gas might be the best thing to happen...awww..too bad, these pigs can't drive their 12,000 tanks around anymore to shop for their $2,000 handbags....if we haven't had such greedy, grubbing, non-caring leadership for the last 50 years, we could have been 75% OFF fossil fuels by now...and Dave in Tampa Bay, why don't we just rape your property in the name of finding OIL, and why don't we just funnel all the related pollution right into your house...I FAIL TO UNDERSTAND...what's IN IT FOR YOU, to continue these neanderthal habits????

    November 7, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. Ollie, NY, NY

    Neither the Dems or GOP can do anything about the gas prices. it will be all talk and no substance. The elite plan is to go to $200 a barrel gas prices to destry the middle class. The Bilderberg's strike again.

    November 7, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. Raymond, El Paso TX

    Anonymous, DC ~ Typical "trickle-down" economic philosophy! Which by the way would work if it wasn't for the human and corporate greed factor which Republicans conveniently never discuss or address.

    Your "conservative" scenario only works when EVERYONE pays their fair share of taxes. I also keep hearing from Republicans that the economy is great.

    Well yeah! It's measured by the record corporate profits being made by the gas and health care corporations. And let's not forget all the corporations that made their huge profits by outsourcing good paying jobs overseas with no repercussions whatsoever.

    Meanwhile, here's the middle-class paying the price for the spending orgy the Republicans have been on, AND paying their taxes while the ultra-rich and those same profit-hungry corporations get off scot-free.

    Middle-class America is sick and tired to witnessing this shameless abuse and the reason they kicked the GOP (Greedy Old Party) out of the majority in congress. It's also looking like they're ready to give the White House to a Democrat as well. I for one will be voting Democrat because enough is enough!

    November 7, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. Les, Boston, MA

    "Middle-class America is sick and tired to witnessing this shameless abuse and the reason they kicked the GOP (Greedy Old Party) out of the majority in congress. It's also looking like they're ready to give the White House to a Democrat as well. I for one will be voting Democrat because enough is enough".

    Okay America, we're about to be hit with the "dumb stick" again. Remember the joyous Carter years of double digit inflation and protectionism,it's coming if this idiot is right.

    November 7, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. Raymond, El Paso TX

    Les, Boston, MA ~ Obviously the voters didn't like what the Republicans were doing. But to hell with them, let's just keep nation-building and let our children's children pay our bills. After all, the corporations and the ultra-rich have suffered long enough the poor things.

    November 7, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. Steve R , Oklahoma

    "Hey America, buy smaller cars.

    Posted By Brit, London : November 6, 2007 3:49 pm

    Hey Brit........go have some Tea and Crumpets...How do you think YOUR fuel prices got so high? You all sat there and LET them get high...we're going to stop this crap!

    Yes, we can and should conserve...but we also shouldn't put up with CREATED high prices that put the prresidents buddies in the all time profiteers hall of fame.

    If we wanted to put up with the stuff in England, we wouldn't have left..LOL.

    November 7, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  25. Dave in Tampa Bay Florida

    "...and Dave in Tampa Bay, why don't we just rape your property in the name of finding OIL, and why don't we just funnel all the related pollution right into your house…I FAIL TO UNDERSTAND…what's IN IT FOR YOU, to continue these neanderthal habits????

    Posted By r schier norwalk,ct : November 7, 2007 2:30 pm ,"

    R Schier: Do you drive a car? or ride a bus? Or do you even have a job? Neanderthal habits? If you mean holding down a job while paying $3/gal for gas – yup that's me. Now you on the other hand – I guess you want us to go back to living in caves reading parchment documents by beeswax candles. Not going to happen. Raping the land? Not exactly. Using our resources to their fullest potential – yes. Doing it responsively? Yes. I don't see how living in Norwalk and having that the perceived pollution from drilling in Alaska and the gulf of Mexico actuall winds up in your house. You have no skin in this game. I libe in Florida on the coast facing the oil and gas fields. I say drill before Mexico, Cuba and China do anyway (PS when they drill, they don't have the same environmental constraints we do when we drill.) You have no grasp on how modern oil extraction techniques work. Ever been on an oil rig? I have. I know what pains are taken to avoid stiff fines and penalties from accidental oil spills. You know how many oil rigs leaked in the Gulf after Katrina? ZERO! Do your homework Skippy. The US needs affordable energy. I truly dislike that we send billions of our dollars – backed in gold bullion – to persons in the Middle East and Venezuela who really want us dead. Screw that. We need to have better energy management and the ability to use our resources to the maximum advantage.
    Now go back to your home in Norwalk and prey heating oil doesn't go to $4 a gallon this season and either makes you broke or freezing cold or both.

    November 7, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
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