September 12th, 2008
10:22 AM ET
15 years ago

Gas prices – voters' No. 1 concern

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Voters are focused on the continuing pain at the pump."]
NEW YORK ( - The high price of gasoline is voters' top economic concern, according to a poll released Friday.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll found that 35% said price of gasoline was their highest concern. That was followed by availability of good jobs (28%), high taxes (18%) and mortgages or home values (18%).

The poll was taken on Sept. 5-7 and surveyed 1,022 adults. It has a margin of error of three percentage points.

While energy concerns led the list, the percentage of respondents who said that high gas prices were causing them "financial hardship" fell to 63% from 75% in July.

Indeed, gas was selling at $3.67 on Friday – more than 80 cents higher than it was a year ago – but 40 cents below its high point in July.

Commodity investors have been worried that the high price of gasoline and other petroleum-derived fuels have been cutting into demand.

Volatile gas prices ticked upward Friday as Hurricane Ike threatened the north Texas coast

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soundoff (174 Responses)
  1. Greg in AR


    Gas prices don't matter.

    Most voter's are more concerned with lipstick on pigs, haven't you people been watching the news?

    What I want to know is-- Where the hell is Osama Bin Laden.

    September 12, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Rob indetroit

    I trust OBama on the Energy issue more so than MCsame ,all of MCbushes people on his staff is in the pocket of big oil, which means just like the last eight years they'll will have a friend in the white house.

    MCsame-FAlin dont represent change but more of the same,
    REMEMBER BUSH EIGHT-YEARSAGO,HE CAME IN THE SAME WAY PALIN DID, just because you want to eat MOOSE, or go hunting with
    her doesn't mean she can be VP,lets not forget MCsame who has a,
    screw loose.

    September 12, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. Joe

    If it were truly the voters #1 concern, the American voter would get the democrats out of Congress, and keep Obama/ Biden out of the White House.

    The democrats campaigned on high gas prices in '06 and America fell for it.

    How stupid are you when Obama campaigns on the same things after 2 years of failed democrat policies in Congress???

    September 12, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. Eric-29-m-PA

    Drill baby Drill.



    September 12, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. Jeremy Lowe

    Does it reflect the morals of modern America at all that we have actually occupied another country, that nearly 100,000 of its citizens have died as a result, and that our top four concerns were all about our own money?

    September 12, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  6. Rebecca

    McCainians only answer is to drill. We now see what type of people they are after this report of sex, drugs and lies between the government and the oil companies. They don't care about reform, they care about lining their pockets.

    September 12, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Rick

    "Economic justice" is a term frequently used by Obama.

    "Economic justice" simply means punishing the successful and redistributing their wealth by government fiat. It's a euphemism for socialism.

    September 12, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Leslie

    Anyone else notice that now that we are in an active election cycle gas prices are going down? The oil companies are working on keeping the republicans in office. It has been exactly the same in the '04 and '06 elections. This cannot be a coincidence!
    How could they continue to go down with the conflict in Georgia, Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Ike? Before the election, just the thought of a hurricane would spike gas prices.




    September 12, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    My number one concern is the economy and how either candidate plans to reduce the national deficit and national debt. Fix those and gas prices will fix themselves over the short term. We need to reduce fossil fuel consumption over the long term.

    September 12, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. CB

    DON'T WORRY PEOPLE – McCain is going to go to war with Russia to protect U.S. Oil interests in Georgia. Cheney was visiting with oil execs there last week. ..its all part of the plan.

    September 12, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Gasoline prices are a concern, but also the fact that Congress had to transfer money into the Highway Trust fund. Despite the high cost of gasoline at the pump, the gasoline tax should be raised 1 cent per gallon now. The gas guzzler tax should be increaced on vheicles making less than 19 miles per gallon on the highway or over 3 tons for non commercial use (it must be for a business, a real one). That should be done.

    September 12, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. jaye

    Gas prices is the least of my worries –
    I'm more orried about attacking Russia and Iran (which I'm sure is on the agenda of McCain – palin). I'm also more worried about drafting our young men and women into a military that is hell bent on attacking the world on the premise of "keeping america safe."
    Keeping America safe isn't all about war – it's about preventing war...and McCain-Palin will shoot first and ask questions later.

    It's laughable to worry about gas prices when there is so much more at stake.

    So, vote wisely, because after the election you can't change your mind.

    September 12, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. whatever

    Has anyone notice that oil is around $100 per barrel. Last time it was around this price, gas was about $3 per gallon in my area. Now it's around $3.85, the same that it was when oil was around $145 a barrel. Niether Obama or McCain can change this, not unless they can turn oil companies into non-profit organizations.

    September 12, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. Asian-American

    We support everything that helps us to liberate from OPEC including drilling!!!!

    I smell fear from Obama campaign. Do you see that he starts calling Bill, Hill, and the Hollywood stars for help!!!!

    Just take a closer look at Democrat this election...from the nasty fighting between Hillary and Obama to the ugly smear tactics on Palin from these childish people has made me to puke to think of!!!!
    No matter who wins this election, Democrat party can no longer be trusted in my family and my small community!

    September 12, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. Steve

    Fuel costs are of concern, but not the primary one. We can always figure out how to drive more efficiently. I'm worried about healthcare. I'm worried about our national debt. I'm worried about jobs going overseas by the thousands, while the remaining jobs are being competed for by a tsumani of foreign workers coming to the US.
    I'm worried about the shrinking buying power of the dollar. And most of all, I'm worried about what Bush and Cheney have planned in the Middle East in the last few months of their reign.

    September 12, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. ChrisP!

    If they must drill, drill the leases they currently have!! They know we have no additional refining capacity ... hell, I'm not a politician and even I know that!!! They just want to drill more because a change is a-comin' and if they don't do it now ~ it "ain't gonna happen" ...

    Let's do the right thing America. For our children.

    Obama/Biden '08/12

    September 12, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. gerri

    Only the very rich and the very stupid will vote for John McCain.Im sorry,but its the truth,I guess almost half the people in this country dont have a clue.

    September 12, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. Tony



    September 12, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. Drilling for oil will not drop the price of gas - only OPEC can


    We can drill for oil all we want. The more we get the more that goes to OPEC for distribution at world pricing.

    Don't be fooled. Of the 700 million we pay abroad less than 30% of it goes to countries that don't like us very much. Another GOP misleading ad claims otherwise.

    The Pickens plan puts us on the right but he says drill dril drill for personal reasons.

    The Obama plan will get us off foregin oil.

    September 12, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. Sarah

    Why is the only answer drilling? You know the oil companies won't even drill once they get their greedy hands on the leases to this land. It does not benefit them in anyway to saturate the market they are making billions on now. They will just hold onto the leases have they have done with all the other land they have leases to. They need to explore what they already have first, before we give them any more. Wake up people.

    September 12, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. Sherri

    Ms. Palin is trying to start the cold war all over again. Her posturing against Russia reveals her lack of leadership ability and experience. It is frightening beyond measure. I'm worried about the economy and bandaid type approaches like drilling to solving the energy crisis. Everything should be weighed carefully, with intelligent choices made.
    I don't have any trust in John McCain and Sarah Palin's leadership ability.

    September 12, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. joe

    What good is the price of gas if my job goes overseas? I'll have no money anyway. McCain has the same empty promises as Bush had in 04 – retooling Americans who lost jobs overseas. It never happened with Bush and 3 million+ jobs were lost. Obama's Free trade plan sounds it will help me much more than McCains plan, which sounds like it only favors the rich corporations.

    Lastly, I hate how people say the Bush has kept this country save from terrorist. Let's not forget that 9/11 happened a year and a half in his watch – he was playing with children at the time.

    That's keeping us save? This is so twisted!!!

    September 12, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  23. Silence Dogood

    Obama energy plan:
    – no drill or maybe drill
    – we need some change (everyone cheer)
    – let me check with the Big Oil lobbyist who gave me $$$$
    – um ah , well, I thnk maybe – change (everyone cheer)
    – did you see me striding around the stage and pointing?

    September 12, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  24. Leslie, NY

    And if McCain gets in, gas will be $12. I'm not listening to anyone who voted for George Bush twice. Bush/McCain/Palin policies will hurt, not help American. Wake up people.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 12, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. sm

    Obama was AGAINST off shore drilling.

    Now he is FOR off shore drilling.


    September 12, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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