Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 10th, 2008 4:38 am by HL
Gas is $4.00 across the country. Driving to Aspen this weekend, I paid $4.27 a gallon. I knew better than to wait to refill until reaching Aspen, where everything costs more. Sure enough, one station in town was charging $4.65.
It's going to keep rising. I think we'll see $5.00 across the country in July. The New York Times says rural residents are being hit the hardest.
Across broad swaths of the South, Southwest and the upper Great Plains, the combination of low incomes, high gas prices and heavy dependence on pickup trucks and vans is putting an even tighter squeeze on family budgets.
Here in the Mississippi Delta, some farm workers are borrowing money from their bosses so they can fill their tanks and get to work. Some are switching jobs for shorter commutes. People are giving up meat so they can buy fuel. Gasoline theft is rising. And drivers are running out of gas more often, leaving their cars by the side of the road until they can scrape together gas money.
The Democrats need to reach out these rural voters on the gas issue. They make up 26% of the voting public. [More...]
A year ago, NPR reported on a poll saying the Republicans could no longer take rural voters for granted.
Three weeks ago, Rural Strategies reported McCain leads Obama by 9 points in the rural battleground states, although they preferred Obama to McCain on economic issues.
There aren't many needs more basic than food and fuel. Rural voters are a critical voting block in November. I really don't think they care about lobbyists and oil company profits — or mass transit or carpooling or electric bicycles — as much as they do about what they pay at the pump.