Thursday, October 30, 2008

Overheard at the Pump

Bunch o' the boys, and one gal with a conspiracy theory were pulled up at a gas station down Fayetteville (NC) way this week. Up until recently North Carolina had the highest gas prices in the nation. Something to do with Hurricane Ike, someone said. Both Barack Obama and John McCain were in town that week. One o' the boys said that the gas prices coming down had something to do with the fact that Obama was up in the polls. The gal said she figured the same thing: somebody was fixing the prices according to the political polls.

All this got us to thinkin'--could there be some connection? It does look like there's some connection between gas prices and which way a state is leaning in the upcoming elections. Just take a look at that red streak coming down from North Dakota, right down to Texas and across the once solid South. The red streak ties in nicely with the greens and yellows on the gas price map, showing that were gas is cheap they're voting Republican. (An aside: we always wondered how the Republicans got the red color, and the Democrats got blue. Someone said one of the TV networks started this, and it stuck. One o' the boys said it should have been the other way around, because as everyone knows, Obama's little better than a Socialist, and Socialists, Bolsheviks, and Communists have always favored the color red.)

The places where gas prices are the highest, like the West coast and the liberal Northeast, are leaning toward the Democrats. Now, an exception is the western states. Arizona and Utah have expensive gas, but Arizona is McCain's home state, and in Utah, as everyone knows, Mormons, like Baptists, almost always vote Republican as a matter of faith. Wisconsin and Minnesota are also an exception, but they've always gotten snookered by the liberal-progressive line, ever since that guy LaFollette stirred up all that trouble way back when. And West Virginia, they're in the red column even though they're on the expensive side gas-wise, but those hillbillies are hard to figure. They have kept a Rockefeller in the Senate all these years, after all.
So what's it all mean? When gas prices are low, people vote to keep the status quo? That makes sense.
Or could there be a committee down in Houston or over in Dubai manipulating gas prices according to the presidential preference polls? That's what that gal thought, but it sounds like a lot of work, especially since they seem to have Congress under control anyway. And both candidates are members of Congress.

It's said that in times of uncertainty, people come up with all kinds of theories to explain events they don't quite understand. And these are interesting times.
I think it's safe to day, whichever way it goes, most of us will be glad when it's over.

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