Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It's Gas, Stupid

I saw a poll on TV last night that said 76% of the public supports increased domestic drilling. I believe it was both on land and off shore. Only 20% were opposed and we can probably assume they are mostly wealthy liberals with no worries about filling the tank each week. 71% of Democrats supported the idea. Again, we know which Democrats are opposed.

I am having a hard time thinking of an issue that has such lop sided support. Rarely is our Country so unanimous in it's support of something. So, given the political power that comes with this level of support, can Barack Obama continue to resist the call for more drilling? Could this be his Achilles heal? I think it could be. In fact, I think it might be the only way John McCain can win. And this is all McCain should be talking about between now and November. He needs to hammer Obama on this issue. Pull the old Bush line of your either with us or against us, only this time it's you either oppose high gas prices (like me) or support them (like Obama).

Of course Obama would never say he supports high gas prices, but that doesn't mean McCain can't make the case that his policies would cause them, regardless of Obama's own feelings on the issue.

UPDATE: A reader made an interesting point regarding Virginia Democrats. Gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds voted against off shore drilling in the recent Transportation Special Session. I have not seen poll numbers specific to Virginia, but my guts tells me they would mirror the national numbers. I think that is a risky move for a statewide candidate like Deeds, who will be counting on the support of a rural base that will feel the sting of high gas prices more than their well to do Northern neighbors. I wonder if the momentum on this issue will force some Dems to change their minds?


Bubby said...

Hey, go ahead and drill the bejeezus out of the Virginia capes. Don't forget the Triassic basin near Richmond!

I'm making good money on every drop of oil produced, and there are plenty more like me - ready to speculate that Americans can't kick the habit, and the Republican Party won't ever regulate the petrol commodity markets.

I mean really, when "McCain's Economic Brain" is the guy who orchestrated this mess, I'm betting (safe) that McCain will "stay the course". Drill. Please.

Zak Moore said...

Sure, it's the speculators driving the price up. It must not have anything to do with the fact that demand is greater than supply. If only I had my Economics 101 book handy......

mountain star said...

A question for "Buddy".... how did McCain's economic brain, create the current energy crisis?

You think maybe the democratic controlled congress has something to do with this?

If you remember, the "dems" punch line , as they took over Congress was, " change to the better"...

wonder where we have heard that word, "change" before??

It was real effective, wasnt it?

Bubby said...

It's "Bubby", buddy. I gave you a link with all the details about how pointy-head anti-commodity regulation professors like Phil and Wendy Gramm got us to the place where the amount of investment in Oil Futures has risen from $9 billion in 1999 to an estimated $280 Billion today. That's me and my fellow investors speculating that you WILL buy $140/barrel oil and we will profit by it.

And the reason that is an estimate? The Republican-controlled congress of the 1990's deregulated the trade of petrol futures, and no one knows who is doing what. The fix was put in by majority Republicans - on the heels of Reagan era deregulatory hoo-haw. You know, that "government is not the solution, government is the problem" hot air that leavened the era.

With $4 gasoline, and no real shortage of gasoline America wants answers, and McCain would be well served by stepping away from perps like the Gramms.

Mike said...

I've read a number of articles recently written by very qualified economists who think speculators are just following the high prices rather than driving them. But even if they do effect prices, I do agree that the 2 billion oil-thirsty folks on the other side of the planet will push prices more than any group of speculators.

But back to the original post. I think Obama will flip on the drilling issue like he has on everything else. He'll continue to remove as many real policy differences with McCain as he can and win the resulting popularity contest (just like he did against Clinton).

dembones said...

I can think of another issue that also has very lopsided support.

Please check out: http://www.pollingreport.com/iraq.htm

Does the same logic apply?

Mike said...

I think the difference is Iraq will almost certainly continue to improve while gas prices will almost certainly continue to get worse.