Monday, January 31, 2005

States Backing Bush Pay Less at Pump

There appears to be a significant difference between the 'Blue' states - those that voted for John Kerry in the November 2004 elections - and the 'Red' states - those opting for George Bush - in terms of retail gasoline prices.

In late October, a little over a week before the 2004 presidential election ended, American Automobile Association figures showed the cost for a gallon of unleaded, self-serve regular averaged $1.99 in the 31 states that ended up in George Bush's corner. It came in 9 cents higher at $2.08 in the remaining states - plus the District of Columbia - that went for Kerry.

This appears to be a trend, if only in recent times. Data for early February of 2002 shows the Bush states enjoyed a mean price of $1.12, while those for Kerry came in at $1.19. In late February of 2001, the average was a bit over $1.44 in the Bush domains verses slightly beyond $1.52 in Kerry's.

Why these differences? One factor is undoubtedly the tax load. Those in the political entities taken by Kerry dole out nearly 5 extra cents in tariffs, an average of 26 cents, while those in the areas favoring Bush are render a toll slightly exceeding 21 cents.

Another interesting inclination: The basic difference between the states was even more pronounced the more they favored one candidate or the other. Near the election, CNN's Charlie Cook deemed 18 states as solidly Bush. They meaned out at $1.97 per gallon, which included a 20 cent tax. People in the 10 states judged to be unquestionably for Kerry were putting out an average of $2.13 for gasoline at that time, with almost 28 cents of that amount going directly to the government.

After taxes, we're at a loss to intelligently assert additional reasons for this contrast. In general, we think that it somehow is based upon variations in political cultures, influenced by the larger urban nature of the Kerry states, compared to those that favored Bush.

Are Kerry Country costs due to more heavily regulated and thus higher cost environments? Is anyone willing to offer a more definite delineation for these discrepancies?

The table down the page shows gasoline prices and tax amounts by state, distinguished by presidential preference.


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