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. Gas is Number One?

    All those who want to drill, drill don't seem to grasp that it isn't going to help today, tomorrow, next week or even next year...

    This is a long term issue that we've had decades to address. Bush hasn't done a thing. McCain – won't do anything useful either. I hope Obama will, but it will take Congress (AND the electorate to continue delivering the message to Congress) to legislate incentives for new energy sources AND to make conservation of gas/oil profitable to the average user.

    No more tax bennies to purchase gas guzzlers "for business". Big incentives for purchasing smaller engine cars, even bigger for electric/alternative fuels.

    Provide corporate tax incentives to US automotive manufacturers who develop vehicles that meet energy standards.

    Implement tax incentives for people using public transportation. Imagine if you could get a break on your taxes for riding the subway... most regular riders can get receipts to prove their use. If we could issue "incentive checks" we ought to be able to amend tax code to allow the tax break for 2008 or at least 2009 taxes!

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

    Obama has soared on image, rhetoric, self-proclaimed supremacy of vision and thought and judgement.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    September 12, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. Rob

    cnn start reporting the truth–Palin fell on her face big time yesterday. She is out of touch with reality .its time people actually listen to what comes out of her mouth when its not written by Bushs writers

    September 12, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. David Newport, OR

    Ike couldn't have happened at a better time. Watch what happens the next 3 days America. Tell me again how the present system works. You want to drill...fine drill...but for God's sake pull your heads out and start implementing viable alternatives. Oil is not the future. The sooner we ourselves of this addiction, the sooner our country will recover.

    September 12, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. Keith COrnelius

    Some of you people are so VULGAR with your comments becasue you cannot argue the facts you result to name calling and saying disgusting things regarding Palins baby......McCain has been talking on the point of gas well before Obama and Obama does the back stroke saying would consider drilling....Listen Obama in the end will lose just because he shows know leadership and lacks knowledge and i more about giveaways.....

    September 12, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |

    »The GREAT Presidential ticket/team John McCain/Sarah Palin will WIN the general election:Of course.

    September 12, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Rave

    McCain doesn't know how much Gas costs for an American ... He doesn't get ... He never got it over 95% of the time.
    You vote for McCain, just cause of race (or) his big empty talk – you will see the same for next 4 years.
    Dont complain, if China or India take away more of your jobs
    Wake UP!!
    OBAMA / BIDEN 2008 – 16

    September 12, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  8. American Voter

    At least Obama has some realistic ideas and the leadership to carry them out. McCain makes his decisions by flipping a coin like he did for his VP pick. That's the secret behind his maverick image. I don't think we can risk a flip-flopping maverick. We need someone who will lead the people to a better life, not just the corporations to higher profits.

    September 12, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  9. michael

    Now that the price of gas is number one, watch Obama flip flop and endorse McCain's proposal to suspend the Federal gas tax and lower the price of a gallon of gas by about 18 cents. By the way Palin has already suspened the state of Alaska gas tax for people who live in Alaska.

    September 12, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |

    »Governor (and next Vice-President) Sarah Palin is WONDERFUL,smart and very CAPABLE. McCain/Palin will be the WINNERS.

    September 12, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. palin=falling

    Gov. Sarah Palin’s much-anticipated interview with ABC News, she said she “didn’t blink” when Senator John McCain asked her to be his running mate.

    September 12, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |

    »HURRAH for McCain!...HURRAH for the LOVELY Sarah Palin!...Yes.

    September 12, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  13. Ron Canada.

    I am confused.With high price of gasoline Ford Motor Co.
    announces they will not sell their 56 mpg. car in the USA.
    Would'nt this help to solve the fuel prices. It appears we already
    have the technology to solve fuel problems but not using them.

    Could it be that the oil company's and lobbyist are still
    controlling the Whitehouse.

    September 12, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. Chickens coming home to roost

    Din't Obama belittle Palin's credentials as a small town mayor (two terms) and as a governor of a state with low population- BEFORE Palin rightly defended herself by comparing it to community organizing?

    Obama love shoveling the crap but hates when it comes flying back.

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

    @Typical White Person September 12th, 2008 11:53 am ET

    You bots need to do a little googling before you start tossing out accusations about per diem abuse.

    "Palin spent about $114,900 traveling in 2007, versus the $516,600 Murkowski spent the year before, according to state records. Palin's husband, Todd, also travels less than recent first spouses. Murkowski generally refused to fly without his wife, Nancy, who spent $124,000 on airline tickets, meals and lodging bills over four years, according to the governor's office. As of August, Todd Palin had cost the state about $14,000 in travel."
    so her corruption is better than his corruption?

    September 12, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  16. Candy West Virginia

    Enlightened Voter – I agree with you, the republicans are manipulating us and notice how as the election draws nearer gas is going down. I have two questions for people – 1. After we drill, drill drill and run out of gas in like 7 years what then? 2. If we ruin our coasts then what? The mississippi is still polluted from the oil spill 2 mos ago. And a statement to a comment posted above, if Obama is an empty suit then Palin is invisible.
    Obama/Biden 08 & 12

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

    »McCain & Palin :What a AWESOME Presidential Ticket!...Knowledge,experience,inteligence,beauty,charisma,charm,etc...»The ROAD to VICTORY is here...Yes.

    September 12, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  18. T.O, New York, NY

    Voters, you're urged to make you decision based on facts, not rumors or the lies any of the campaigns spew out.

    The Facts:
    ...................................MCCAIN..................... OBAMA
    Income ……............ Avg tax bill ……....... Avg. tax bill
    Over $2.9M …...... -$269,364.............… +$701,885
    $603K and up...... -$45,361 ..........….... +$115,974
    $227K-$603K…... -$7,871 ..........…….. +$12
    $161K-$227K…... -$4,380 ...............…...-$2,789
    $112K-$161K……-$2,614 ..................... -$2,204
    $66K-$112K ……. -$1,009 ..............….. -$1,290
    $38K-$66K ……... -$319 ..............….. ....-$1,042
    $19K-$38K ……... -$113 .............…..…. -$892
    Under $19K …….. -$19................……. ..-$567

    Source: Tax Policy Center

    September 12, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. Credit Card Republicans

    Big Oil will slash prices just in time for the election,we all know that.They have caused this election to be about the economy so they can control it.They paid billions to insurgents to stop fighting long enough, so the election would not be about the war.Wake up America,your being manipulated.CNN please post the truth for a change,your credibility is on the line.

    September 12, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. Another "Mission Accomplished"?

    Just watch Wall Street make a handfull on the volatility caused by Ike and damage to refineries and domestic production; meanwhile, Main Street will pay record highs at the gaspump. When are we going to link Energy Security to 9.11 and the failure of GOP to have a Manhattan Project on Green Technology, not invading Iraq and creating a killing machine to stop insurgence? The window of opportunity is still there and I don't trust the GOP. Dems have it right on budgets, science, technolgy, and the kind of investments that will create sustainable high paying jobs.

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

    Even if we were to start the process of drilling for oil, experts say oil will not be availabe for more than 7-10 years. Also oil is a global market. The price may not get lower in the United States especially since demand for oil has been steadily increasing. One example is that right now Alaska is a producer of oil but yet they paid $5.00 a gallon ($10.00 a gallon in rural areas) just like the rest of the US. I saw that in an interview with Sarah Palin before she was named as McCain's running mate.

    September 12, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  22. Cyrus K.

    It's a temporary spike, and nothing else. The market is reacting to OPEC's decision to cut oil supply, Hurricane Ike, and Venezuela's decision to expel U.S. envoy. Do the math, and you will figure it out. Economics 101.

    I bet my life savings that if Bush & Co. goes on TV and says that the govt. will release oil from the strategic reserve, price of gas will take a dip.

    McCain's idea of Drill, Drill, Drill is wrong, irresponsible, and myopic. Obama's decision to support more drilling is also asinine. And anyone who supports nuclear energy is an idiot. It is not a clean solution, because the radioactive/toxic nuclear waste causes far more damage than anything else. Where is McCain going to dispose of the nuclear waste? The basement in his house? It would end up on our backyard and cause more damage to our health.

    September 12, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. proud army and navy mom

    Enough with the non sense we need to take a look aand discuss Obamas voting record and the 150 votes of present in his short time in the senate.


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

    CNN please post...
    the prices are outrageous due to some research, then Goggle Enron loop hole, the Goggle Phil Gramm, then see john McCain. connect the dots America

    September 12, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. there is such a thing as bad change

    When Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats took control of Congress in January of 2007 they promised to lower gas by implementing their “common-sense plan”.

    How did that turn out?

    We saq the highest oil price increase in history.

    September 12, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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