Today a story from the AP carries this title:
Sounds pretty bad, but in fact the AP headline is understating the problem, if you read the story you find this gem:
Overall in the poll, 71 percent said rising prices will cause some hardship for them and their family, including 41 percent who called it a “serious” hardship.
Or to put it another way, instead of stating that 71% will be facing hardship over gas prices, not 41%.
The AP’s spin should surprise nobody as earlier this week the Media trumpeted a poll stating that 59% of Americans would “definitely or consider” voting for Barack Obama in 2012. This new improved version of the “created or saved” meme might make a good sound byte, but wasn’t convincing the average American trying to run a business.
During my door to door travels looking to find advertisers for my Radio Show (archive here btw) I talk to a lot of people in business and the reactions I get should not be encouraging to the White House.
“Look at that board”, the mover said as I asked how business was doing, “last year at this time it was filled with jobs, this year it’s empty”. Houses aren’t selling and people aren’t moving. A real estate agent sang the same tune the next day, saying with housing prices dropping like a rock retired folk can’t sell their houses to re-locate to warmer climes.
Responses like this are driving the numbers deep in the poll results that tell a much louder story than anything the media are reporting. In addition to only 42% of the respondents approving of the administration’s handling of the economy, only 30% said they would DEFINITELY vote Obama even though Democrats and leaners made up 43% of the poll, Meanwhile in a poll with 40% of the respondents GOP or GOP leaning 39% said they were definitely NOT voting for the president.
As for the today’s AP story, my own canvasing of people in the Fitchburg Leominster area suggests for the overwhelming majority Gas is already past the point where it would affect their vote in 2012, and this was in Massachusetts.
Until fuel prices are under control, the bottom line is business and their ability to hire will suffer. Unless that changes the results of the next election are a forgone conclusion media psy-ops not withstanding.