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It doesn't take much...

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday September 19, 2006 08:36 PM

... to beat the Democrats. I'm starting to think we may have seen the October Surprise, and it is, as we speculated it might be back in April -- April! -- cheap gas. Or at least, not-quite-so-expensive gas:
Amid falling gas prices and a two-week drive to highlight his administration's efforts to fight terrorism, President Bush's approval rating has risen to 44% in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. That's his highest rating in a year.

The poll also showed likely voters evenly divided between Democratic and Republican candidates for Congress, 48%-48%. Among registered voters, Democrats had a 51%-42% advantage.

The indispensable Doug Henwood at Left Business Observer has done a little regression on Bush's approval numbers and the price of gas. It's uncanny. Follow the link and eyeball the graphs -- you'll love it.

Now there are a couple of conclusions we could draw from this. Number One, the American people are hopelessly spoiled and shallow, and care for nothing but cable TV and their SUV. Number Two, the elections aren't about anything else, so why shouldn't they be about gasoline?

No prize at all for guessing which conclusion I prefer.

Comments (8)

js paine:


"First, the Chimperor's Saudi friends will increase production, thus lowering the price of gasoline to the relief of SUV drivers everywhere..."

pretty nice call alan

though i think the cloud cover
of private speculatiors
is even better for price games then saudi production figments

ie this whole game is so rigged

and counter rigged by market spec

note the recent billions worth blow up
of a big hedge outfit
over a wrong call
on spec market natural gas price paths

ever see "the formula"
with george c scott and my main man
el brando ?

well marlon plays a weirdly cheney like
private energy czar
ruling the global carbon lobby

metaphor yes

but a fair enough "surrogate"
for big energy reality

ps my sober attack trained
economist's guess :

this is not chimperor driven

and the corrrelation
"revealed" by the regession is
non causal

ah i love to play the spoil sport

js paine:

bush has leaped up in non gallup
to 44%
now in this poll game you gotta follow one poller stream
so maybe the gallup number will track better
then this i think usa today poll

regardless bushco is spontaneously on the mend

it works that way with a prez
if there's no new big bad bang
the exopeneous down trend with its lags
gets reversed sending him up toward
the inherent repug prez base line

which is prolly now



base line
was prolly 60-65 after 9/11
and the afgoonistan revenge krieg


If all Bush does to win this election is lower gas prices, I'll take it! Not because I care about gas prices, but because I fear what else they have up their sleeve.
I know your point is different: this is all it takes to beat the Dems! Well said!

Number One, for sure. Y'mean, you're just now getting around to figuring out it's No. 1? I pretty much had the Amerikan Volk nailed down in the spoiled and shallow department right around the time of Gulf War v1.0.

The only thing that surprised me was how much I wasn't at all surprised at the big oil strike (how many _years_ are they saying, from the field to the pump, and what impact would it have on the price at the pump?) and all the subsequent media pants-pissing (even as they mentioned, as an aside, just how few years' worth of oil this represents); and at how little I gave a shit about the press polluting its britches in delight over some up-blipping little employment increase (USA Today always says it's "surging", a sure sign of bullshit); and my abZero lack of any desire to soak my britches over the magical drop in the price of gas from nearly-outrageous to a-bit-of-a-pinch, as the media and the SUV-driving Volk of Amerika have (more proof of No.1); and especially not in my inability to flinch at the sound of the new perky anchorlady at NBC "Today" practically bouncing in her seat in delight as she chirps about the Chimp's rating rising from Abjectly Wretched to merely Piss-Poor.

And the really sad thing is that you can tell they're in seriously deep-assed shit when the media has to make such a big hairy deal about "positives" which, on even the most casual close examination, are revealed to be some of the most weak-assed, crummy, bottom-of-the-barrel excuses for "positives" that they seem to be able to come up with.

An October "Surprise" you call it? With _this_ crowd? I haven't been surprised with this kind of crap since about, oh, 1996.

J. Alva Scruggs:

In my strictly informal survey of voters and people who respond to polls, I've gotten a lot of people who say what they think the pollster wants to hear, vote according to team loyalty, without much thought, support policies on the same basis and have a hard time differentiating between the two big parties, except when it comes to largely propagandistic media "insights" into their character. While there's no shortage of vapidity, unthinking support for violence and greediness, most of them are decent enough folks who have found politics a waste of their time. Evildum versus Evildee doesn't interest them all that much. Being able to get to work does.


J Alva -- if people dont care about politics, then presumably they dont care about wars either, or what's in the Constitution. If so, lowering gas prices will probably do it. That and keeping beer prices in line. If he could just do away with the taxes on cigarettes, Bush could be emperor for life.

J. Alva Scruggs:

It's more that they know what they know about the parties and there's no telling them different, bobw. It's an indifference to making any change in party allegiance, based on what seems a whole lot like resignation. So they talk themselves into things they would otherwise not support. In a steady stream of bullshit, betrayals and disappointments, they vote with the people they like best, based on affection. It's criminal to take advantage of that.

Do you ever look at the PIPA surveys? Some people say they think Bush is really, sincerely concerned about the environment. My admittedly non-rigorous follow up on that yielded two responses. His hands are tied in what he can do or he's making the best trade off in tough circumstances. Same with Democrats who thought Kerry was anti-war. He doesn't like war, but he's stuck with it. When someone in power is irredeemably duplicitous, it's easiest to either make excuses or simply withdraw from thinking about it.

js paine:

along with
capin' smiff
i vote 2
all the way

well maybe 2.2
ie some redaction of 2

more basically though
number 1
sucks goat cheese and creative boho klass
brain fungus

and you know

i'm sick
of you kool smart ass ever so
superior hipoise
white trash

btw bravo jay melba

i'll join every anti gringo trans nat
lynch mob possible

but trashin our job holdin' palefaces
wil never face my contempt

no sir no madame
do that
and your walkin on
the fightin side of

the creative class
scorn for the lower elements

or their patronization along with the pro klass
of the homers and jethros
both grotesque klass realities

our class ya i'm one of course

our klass lookin down
on em

led to
the blanche pleb klasses'fantasy:
peaceniks were anti soldier
and spit on em as baby killers
it was really a projection displacement
of the whole trashy folks class kampf

they harbor much agin us progs
going back to the late 60's

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