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TUESDAY, February 21, 2012

For more than a decade I've suspected that gas prices jump or fall around the presidential election depending on who is in the White House - with the public perception that a lower number at the pump will help whoever is President and vice versa. This is my own research, all prices are US average:

In 2000 a Democrat Bill Clinton was in office and gasoline prices reached new heights before the election, almost $1.80 a gallon, no doubt helping the oil guys Dick Cheney and George W. Bush squeak into office. After all, they promised to use their influence in the industry to lower gasoline prices.

Unsurprisingly, prices continued to rise in 2001 with the Republicans in high office. When the Senate switched to Democratic hands in 2001 hearings into high prices were held. The cost began to drop. Prices jumped again when Republicans re-took control of the Senate in 2002.

Gasoline was at a record $2.00 in May of 2004 and people were outraged. Before the election the price dipped down to $1.70 as folks heaved a huge sigh of relief and cast a vote for Republican George Bush. By March 2005 gas zoomed to around $2.20 a gallon. Mission accomplished.

In July of 2008 US avg gas price was over $4.15, that's still the record. By November, election time, it had fallen to $1.72 a gallon. What a drop! What a coincidence. It wasn't enough to get the Republican elected but by May of 2009 gas was $2.44 and steadily trending upward.

The election season is upon us once again, this time a Democrat is in the White House. Suddenly gasoline, we're told, will be rising to around $5.00 a gallon by November. Detect a trend?

This is despite that fact that the number of rigs in the U.S. oil fields has more than quadrupled in the past three years.

Drill baby drill indeed!



Billy Ingram / News Regurgitator
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