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)



    September 12, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Victoria Anderson - Seattle, Washington

    The Reps want to drill, go to war and there is no clear policy on how to fix this mess here in the United States. I laugh at stuff like this. The vote is very clear on my end and I vote Obama because he have something to say that's worth listening too.....

    September 12, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |

    Does this sound familiar? Republican governor of a large state, ultra right wing conservative, anti-abortion, anti-gun control, in bed with the oil industry, injecting "terrorism, God and reform" into every speech, anti-womens' rights, homophobic, very little experience, NO experience in foreign affairs, etc. etc...she's George W. Bush in a dress! NO MORE!! We can't take any more years of this failed administration!

    And if you think that more of the same Bush economic policies will lower gas prices, you're fooling yourself!

    September 12, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. jamie

    whoops. almost forgot about that economy.
    so busy trying to check out VP mcPretty over there...

    September 12, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  5. maynard hopkins wi

    the oil problem lays with getting the refined product to you gas tank. the solution is build more refineries..... If you notice all the elected officials want to drill for more oil in the ocean.... well excuse me that is the last place we need to drill for oil. it should be on land and out of the hurricanes way which would mean the midwest or ak.

    folks we have to do something we can not be held hostage any more by some foreign nation. you people say don,t drill for oil on land where is your brains.drilling for oil on land would help keep the price of gas down because you don,t have the hirricanes to deal with.....WATCH THE PRICE OF GAS AFTER IKE IT WILL JUMP...THE OIL COMPANIES LOVE THIS HURRICANES SEASON.

    put the refineries more inland by doing this the service of refining oil would not be disrupted by hurricanes.

    September 12, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. fixthebroken

    Oil prices have been going down (not today because of the hurricane worries, but lately, for sure) know why?

    Reduction in demand. Change in behavior. It is simple Economics 101.

    But sure, drilling in ANWR will solve all of our ills and we can just go back to the same oil guzzling behavior that we have done in the past. Yeah, right.

    Solar, wind, natural gas - that's where it is at people. That is where the new economy will come from. Reduce oil consumption; don't encourage it.

    September 12, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. American Ariman

    The only ticket that has a legitimate plan to reduce the price of gasoline is the McCain/Palin ticket. The only candidate that has experience, real experience, no tjust empty words, on energy is Gov Palin.

    Wake up Americans, vote for the people that ease the strain on your walletts. Not the ones that promising what they can not and will not deliver.

    Country First.

    September 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Debbie in Missouri

    Dear CNN,

    We need an section to talk about the Palin interview last night.

    John McCain has made a mistake.

    Debbie, Independent Voter in Missouri

    September 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. Independent

    Since i'm neither Republican or Democtrat.
    To me this elecction is about do i REWARD with my vote. Do i reward a party that took office with a Surplus and is leaving it with a huge deficit.
    The price of my house dropped a huge deal since the republican party took charge of government.
    On the Economy GOP scores an F .
    On keeping me and my family safe GOP scores an F.
    On Education GOP scores an F.
    How do i vote for a party that have destroyed my livelyhood and the country i love so much.
    I just couldn't do it. I CANNOT VOTE GOP, not this year at least.
    Which is why im voting DEMOCRATIC all the way. At least under Clinton although i didnt vote for him, I had money in the bank and i felt a lot safer.

    September 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. AmeriKa the beautiful for Obamanation

    My number one concern is the ANTIPATHY towards fellow Americans that the divisive uniter, Obama the great, has inspired in his vitriolic, disrespectful, hateful, woman-hating, vulgar followers.

    This cult of Obama worship will not stand.

    September 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. Amanda, OR

    I'm afraid as long as the press are asleep at the wheel these post will get meaner.

    I apologize in advance, but we can not have a Palin/McCain Administration. We can't.

    The Rethugs don't even believe what's happening. Pat Buchanon said he and his friends were laughing. I guess they can't believe how stupid some people are. I know they're desperate after GW, but I never thought Americans were stupid.

    Unfortunately they're scheming how they can put more airheads on local Rethug tickets. This country is crazy if they think we're going to elect a woman who has a BA in journalism, a trashy mouth, and big-hair. Send her back to the trailor park because she's not ready for prime time. And check to see if she's killed endangered animals because she has no morals. Anyone who bills the taxpayers for staying in their own home should be tarred and feathered.

    September 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. Trojan Moose

    Tom in S.A. September 12th, 2008 12:34 pm ET

    Don't vote Dem if you want prices to drop. We need to drill more here, just the threat of us drilling has brought down prices even if it's going to take years to get the drilling started. If the Dems have control they won't listen to what the majority of the country wants, just what they want. I thought they worked for us and if 70% of the country wants more drilling then there shouldn't even have to be a debate on this. Do your job and do what the U.S. people want and do it now.

    No, the threat of drilling has not brought prices down. A drop in usage has brought prices down. People are finding ways to conserve.
    By your reasoning, we should be out of Iraq right now, as 70% of the country thinks we should not be there. So much for the Republicans listening to what the majority wants

    September 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. Sharon

    Considering how Republican President Bush and his "oil administration" have handled all oil transaction price of gas is understandable. Republicans have always been known for being oil friendly and promoting their interest to protect their livelihood. Fact is there was a total disregard of what is important ofr America. That is why America is in a mess now. Republicans have coined themselves with oil to keep America from being a leader of new energy. Now we are dependent.. Other countries took notice and became leaders on new energy. Financially these countries are doing well.

    America needs a change. We need Obama – Biden. McCain-Palin are just more of same.

    September 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. kevin

    Isn't it funny how gas prices shoot up overnight in the wake of perceived shortages, but the price takes months and months to slowly fall? Anyways, if voters keep the oil industry in power again they can expect to and deserve to pay huge sums for a dwindling resource.

    September 12, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. Selected not elected

    The fact that the unqualified Obama got this far just on star power, adoration, adulation, oratory and manipulation is MY number one concern.

    No other candidate had such a huge gap between achievement and adulation that Obama has.

    September 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. Rob indetroit

    CARL is right! with all the oil off the coast tell me this if there is a spill will T,BOONE Pickins and the rest of the Big shots who own the leases pay vfor the clean up.

    I am for Drilling as long as the people who stand to get rich off it pay
    out of ther own pocket for cleanup with out any help from the Government!!!!!!!!!.

    September 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. Pearl Needs to RELAX

    @ John, Virginia

    You are very very misinformed. The Democrats do not hold sufficient majority in Congress to get anything done with the Bushtard wielding the veto pen and the Republicans fillibustering like it's a hot new dance move. Global warming is REAL and continuing to spend money on additional oil production facilities makes no sense when the country is poised to begin decreasing its reliance on foreign oil and fossil fuels. Government is not going to require you to buy certain vehicles, but programs that incentivize and catalyze it will be put in place. Get information, get educated, check facts, then speak. Until then, shoosh.


    September 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. Jerry in Boston

    To Nightingale.

    So rather than risk taking this country in a different direction, you'd rather keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result?

    Einstein had something to say about people like that.

    September 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. 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 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. smokesignals

    Shortsighted Americans are nothing new. That's what has gotten us into this mess in the first place.
    They won't be worried about the high prices of gasoline for their guzzling cars when they can't breathe the air in their backyards anymore.

    September 12, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Destabilizing the Middle East with an unneccesary war and determining the U.S. energy policy at secret meetings with Enron probably had nothing to do with the high price of gas. Neither did letting the dollar go into an 8 year freefall...You voted for 2 oilmen twice. Vote for Gidget and the Geezer and you are guaranteed to get more of the same....

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

    While I agree gas prices are high. It is NOT the number one issue. The number one issue is still the economy, stupid. Gas prices are only a symptom of a struggling economy.

    Drilling the Gulf of Mexico to swiss cheese so even MORE of our domestic production shuts down with every weather event is a good idea because??

    We don't need more supply of oil. We less demand FOR oil based on alternative energies like wind. Even lifelong republican oilman T. Boone Pickens gets that.

    Let's elect Obama and move forward with a truly progressive energy policy.

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

    It is beyond me why CNN or any station does not do a in depth and truthful reporting of how you can decrease gas prices.Drilling more is a joke answer and will not help this worlwide problem.The only true answer is decreasing usage and this is a worldwide problem that needs to be honestly exposed and reported.Get a panel of experts together so everyone can hear the truth.To anybody who knows anything about this industry the
    Dril,Drill,Drill now" propaganda is 100% not the right answer.It is not even a band aid soloution and is ridiculious to have people believing this will affect worldwide petro prices.It is scary to think some actually believe this will help.

    September 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. Cindy from NC

    I don't understand for life of me how they can keep jacking the gas up. The barrell to $109 and my gas in NC was and as of yesterday was still $3.69. BUT TODAY $3.99

    I swear I am so sick of this. That is myissue. WHERE IS THE REAL INVESTIGSTION ON GAS HIKES

    September 12, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. smokesignals

    And no, Obama isn't flipflopping on this issue.
    He knows that some leniency HAS to happen for short term relief. It's the long term solutions that are important.
    And the answer for protecting our precious environment is NOT more off-shore drilling. Or haven't you all experienced beach tar on your feet?

    September 12, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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