May 15, 2008 - More American Voters Say Gas Tax 'Holiday' Is Bad Idea, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; 82% Dissatisfied With Way Things Are Going In U.S.

Word format

By a 49 - 41 percent margin, American voters say eliminating the federal gas tax for the summer is a bad idea, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Republicans split 45 - 46 percent on the gas tax 'holiday,' while Democrats say 49 - 42 percent it's a bad idea and independent voter turn thumbs down 56 -38 percent.

The proposed gas tax cut is a loser in red states, 48 - 42 percent, blue states, 49 - 43 percent and purple - or swing - states, 51 - 39 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh- pe-ack) University poll finds.

A total of 69 percent of American voters say rising gas prices are a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" problem for their families. Because of rising gas prices:
  • 57 percent of American voters have cut back significantly on household spending;
  • 61 percent have cut back significantly on driving;
  • 39 percent have changed summer vacation plans.
Oil companies are most to blame for rising gas prices, 35 percent of voters say, while 23 percent blame President George W. Bush. Looking at other causes:
  • 19 percent blame oil producing countries;
  • 14 percent blame normal supply and demand pressures;
  • 3 percent blame Americans who drive gas-guzzlers.
" Rising gas prices are more than just an abstract worry. Americans say they've cut back on their household spending and on how much they drive," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"But the political quick fix - a gasoline tax holiday for the summer - has more opposition than support. Imagine that: American voters opposed to a tax cut."

"Who's to blame? Oil companies and President Bush get more blame even than the oil producing countries. And almost nobody is blaming gas guzzlers," Carroll said.

A total of 82 percent of American voters are "somewhat dissatisfied' or "very dissatisfied" with the way things are going in the country today, while only 17 percent are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied." This is the lowest national satisfaction rate since Quinnipiac University began asking this question in 2003. In the previous low, November 22, 2006, 61 percent were dissatisfied and 37 percent were satisfied.

The U.S. economy is in a recession, voters say 71 - 24 percent. Phrased another way, only 1 percent of voters say the economy is "excellent," while 12 percent say it is "good;" 44 percent say "not so good" and 43 percent say "poor."

Looking at their family financial situation, 12 percent of American voters say they are "getting ahead" while 24 percent say they are "falling behind" and 64 percent say they are "holding steady."

"Americans may not be able to give a technical definition of 'recession,' but three-fourths of them think we're in one," Carroll said.

"Overwhelmingly, voters think the economy is in bad shape. They're only slightly more optimistic about their personal financial situation."

Looking at their own financial situation, 47 percent of American voters are most worried about gas prices. Other concerns are:
  • 16 percent are most worried about rising health care costs;
  • 16 percent are most worried about rising food prices;
  • 9 percent worry most about declining retirement funds;
  • 7 percent worry most about dropping real estate values.
"You can watch the numbers roll rapidly higher on a gasoline pump and, by a large margin, voters pick rising gasoline prices as their biggest economic concern," Carroll said.

From May 8 -12, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,745 registered voters nationwide, with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research. For more data -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

12. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Very satisfied           2%      2%      2%      2%      2%      2%      2%      1%
Smwht satisfied         15      30       6      13      18      12      17       2
Smwht dissatisfied      37      47      33      38      39      36      38      28
Very dissatisfied       45      19      59      48      41      49      42      68
DK/NA                    1       1       -       1       1       1       1       -
 
                        Red     Blue    Purple
 
Very satisfied           1%      1%      3%
Smwht satisfied         16      16      12
Smwht dissatisfied      38      38      36
Very dissatisfied       43      45      49
DK/NA                    1       -       -
 
TREND: In general how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Sat     Sat
                        May 15  Nov 22  Jun 1   Mar 2   Dec 6   Dec 11  May 15
                        2008    2006    2006    2006    2005    2001    2008
 
Very satisfied           2       5       6       5       6      21       2
Somewhat satisfied      15      32      32      33      33      47      15
Somewhat dissatisfied   37      33      33      30      29      19      37
Very dissatisfied       45      28      29      31      30      10      45
DK/NA                    1       1       1       1       1       3       1
 
 
15. Do you think it's the government's responsibility to make sure that everyone in the United States has adequate health-care, or don't you think so?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Yes                     61%     34%     81%     59%     54%     68%     55%     91%
No                      35      62      16      37      43      27      41       7
DK/NA                    4       4       3       5       3       5       4       2
 
                        Red     Blue    Purple
 
Yes                     57%     65%     62%
No                      39      32      34
DK/NA                    4       3       4
 
TREND: Do you think it's the government's responsibility to make sure that everyone in the United States has adequate health care, or don't you think so?
                        May 15  Nov 1   Feb 22
                        2008    2007    2007
 
Yes                     61      57      64
No                      35      38      31
DK/NA                    4       5       4
 
 
16. Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as - Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Excellent                1%      1%      1%      -       1%      1%      1%      1%
Good                    12      28       3      10      15       9      14       2
Not so good             44      51      38      48      44      44      45      29
Poor                    43      19      58      42      41      45      40      67
DK/NA                    -       1       -       -       -       -       -       -
 
                        Red     Blue    Purple
 
Excellent                1%      -       1%
Good                    14      13       9
Not so good             45      46      41
Poor                    40      41      49
DK/NA                    1       -       -
 
                        Annual Household Income......
                        <30K    30-50   50-100  >100K
 
Excellent                1%      -       -      1%
Good                     8      10      15      17
Not so good             40      43      46      46
Poor                    50      46      40      36
DK/NA                    -       1       -       -
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as - Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                        May 15  May 5   Dec 10  Oct 29  Sep 17  Jul 24  Jun 11
                        2008    2004    2003    2003    2003    2003    2003
 
Excellent                1       2       3       2       1       1       2
Good                    12      36      37      29      29      28      31
No so good              44      40      42      45      42      41      41
Poor                    43      21      16      23      27      28      25
DK/NA                    -       1       1       1       1       1       2
 
 
17. Which best describes your family's financial situation - Getting ahead, falling behind or holding steady?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Getting ahead           12%     17%     10%     10%     16%      8%     12%     11%
Falling behind          24      15      27      24      23      24      22      29
Holding steady          64      67      62      65      61      66      65      58
DK/NA                    1       1       1       -       1       1       -       2
 
                        Red     Blue    Purple
 
Getting ahead           12%     15%      9%
Falling behind          22      19      29
Holding steady          65      66      61
DK/NA                    2       -       -
 
                        Annual Household Income.......
                        <30K    30-50   50-100  >100K
 
Getting ahead            5%      6%      9%     32%
Falling behind          38      26      21       8
Holding steady          56      66      70      60
DK/NA                    1       1       -       -
 
 
18. As you think about your own financial situation, which of the following economic issues worries you the most right now? (Read options)
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Declining retirement
 fund values             9%      9%     10%      8%      7%     10%      9%      7%
Declining real
 estate values           7      10       5       8       7       7       7       8
Rising health care
 costs                  16      12      18      18      14      18      16      18
Rising gasoline
 prices                 47      52      46      46      52      43      50      43
Rising food prices      16      14      18      15      15      17      14      22
DK/NA                    4       4       4       5       4       4       4       2
 
                        Red     Blue    Purple
 
Declining retirement
 fund values             7%     11%      9%
Declining real
 estate values           4      11       7
Rising health care
 costs                  15      18      16
Rising gasoline
 prices                 55      42      44
Rising food prices      14      15      19
DK/NA                    5       4       5
 
 
18. (cont'd) As you think about your own financial situation, which of the following economic issues worries you the most right now? (Read options)
                        Annual Household Income.......
                        <30K    30-50   50-100  >100K
 
Declining retirement
 fund values             6%      6%     10%     12%
Declining real
 estate values           3       3      12      13
Rising health care
 costs                  18      13      16      16
Rising gasoline
 prices                 45      60      46      44
Rising food prices      21      16      15      11
DK/NA                    6       3       2       4
 
 
19. Do you think the United States economy is in a recession now?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Yes                     71%     49%     84%     73%     68%     73%     68%     87%
No                      24      45      12      22      29      20      27       8
DK/NA                    5       6       4       5       3       7       5       5
 
                        Red     Blue    Purple
 
Yes                     66%     73%     74%
No                      28      22      22
DK/NA                    6       5       4
 
                        Annual Household Income.......
                        <30K    30-50   50-100  >100K
 
Yes                     75%     74%     66%     69%
No                      18      22      30      30
DK/NA                    6       4       5       1
 
 
20. If Hillary Clinton is elected President, do you think the economy will get better, get worse or stay about the same?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Get better              37%     11%     61%     31%     36%     38%     34%     52%
Get worse               24      53       7      21      26      23      28       6
Stay the same           32      30      28      41      34      31      32      36
DK/NA                    6       6       5       6       4       9       6       7
 
                        Red     Blue    Purple
 
Get better              37%     34%     39%
Get worse               26      26      22
Stay the same           29      33      35
DK/NA                    7       7       4
 
                        Annual Household Income.......
                        <30K    30-50   50-100  >100K
 
Get better              41%     39%     34%     34%
Get worse               18      22      25      34
Stay the same           34      35      34      28
DK/NA                    6       4       6       5
 
 
21. If Barack Obama is elected President, do you think the economy will get better, get worse or stay about the same?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Get better              37%     10%     55%     39%     36%     38%     32%     72%
Get worse               22      45       8      18      25      19      25       5
Stay the same           32      38      28      35      34      31      34      19
DK/NA                    9       7       8       9       5      12       8       5
 
                        Red     Blue    Purple
 
Get better              34%     38%     39%
Get worse               26      18      21
Stay the same           30      36      32
DK/NA                   11       8       7
 
                        Annual Household Income.......
                        <30K    30-50   50-100  >100K
 
Get better              42%     39%     34%     34%
Get worse               14      21      22      33
Stay the same           31      34      37      29
DK/NA                   13       6       6       4
 
 
22. If John McCain is elected President, do you think the economy will get better, get worse or stay about the same?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Get better              20%     36%      9%     18%     22%     17%     22%      6%
Get worse               25       7      40      18      22      27      21      46
Stay the same           48      49      44      55      52      44      50      34
DK/NA                    8       8       7       8       4      12       7      13
 
                        Red     Blue    Purple
 
Get better              21%     17%     20%
Get worse               24      23      27
Stay the same           45      50      47
DK/NA                   10       9       6
 
                        Annual Household Income.......
                        <30K    30-50   50-100  >100K
 
Get better              19%     17%     20%     24%
Get worse               23      27      26      21
Stay the same           46      48      48      49
DK/NA                   12       8       6       6
 
 
28. Do you think that eliminating the federal gas tax for the summer months is a good idea or a bad idea?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Good idea               41%     45%     42%     38%     37%     46%     41%     39%
Bad idea                49      46      49      56      57      43      50      53
DK/NA                    9       9       9       7       6      12       9       7
 
                        Red     Blue    Purple
 
Good idea               42%     43%     39%
Bad idea                48      49      51
DK/NA                    9       9      10
 
                        Annual Household Income.......
                        <30K    30-50   50-100  >100K
 
Good idea               48%     44%     42%     30%
Bad idea                40      46      53      63
DK/NA                   12      10       5       7
 
 
29. How much of a problem has the rising price of gasoline been for you and your family lately - a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, a not too serious problem, or not a problem at all?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Very serious problem    28%     19%     35%     25%     26%     31%     25%     46%
Smwht serious           41      41      38      47      39      42      42      36
Not too serious         22      26      21      22      25      20      24      10
Not a problem at all     8      13       6       6      10       6       8       7
DK/NA                    -       1       -       -       -       1       -       -
 
                        Red     Blue    Purple
 
Very serious problem    31%     23%     31%
Smwht serious           41      43      39
Not too serious         20      26      21
Not a problem at all     8       7       9
DK/NA                    -       -       1
 
                        Annual Household Income......
                        <30K    30-50   50-100  >100K
 
Very serious problem    47%     35%     19%     12%
Smwht serious           38%     43%     45%     36%
Not too serious         10%     16%     28%     36%
Not a problem at all     3%      6%      8%     17%
DK/NA                    1%      -       -       -
 
TREND: How much of a problem has the rising price of gasoline been for you and your family lately - a very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, a not too serious problem, or not a problem at all?
                        May 15  Jun 14  Jun 2
                        2008    2007    2006
 
Very serious problem    28      41      35
Smwht serious           41      32      37
Not too serious         22      18      21
Not a problem at all     8       8       7
DK/NA                    -       1       -
 
 
30. As a result of the recent rise in gas prices, have you cut back significantly on your household spending or not?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Yes                     57%     47%     63%     56%     53%     61%     54%     69%
No                      42      52      36      44      46      38      45      31
DK/NA                    1       1       1       -       1       1       1       -
 
                        Red     Blue    Purple
 
Yes                     60%     53%     60%
No                      39      46      40
DK/NA                    1       1       -
 
                        Annual Household Income......
                        <30K    30-50   50-100  >100K
 
Yes                     78%     63%     49%     37%
No                      20%     36%     50%     62%
DK/NA                   2%       -       1%      -
 
TREND: As a result of the recent rise in gas prices, have you cut back significantly on your household spending or not?
                        May 15  Jun 14  Jun 2
                        2008    2007    2006
 
Yes                     57      48      50
No                      42      51      49
DK/NA                    1       1       1
 
 
31. As a result of the recent rise in gas prices, have you cut back significantly on how much you drive or not?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Yes                     61%     52%     62%     65%     59%     62%     60%     69%
No                      37      45      35      34      40      34      38      28
DK/NA                    2       3       3       2       1       3       2       2
 
                        Red     Blue    Purple
 
Yes                     63%     58%     61%
No                      36      38      37
DK/NA                    2       4       2
 
                        Annual Household Income.......
                        <30K    30-50   50-100  >100K
 
Yes                     74%     67%     57%     43%
No                      21      32      42      57
DK/NA                    5       1       1       -
 
TREND: As a result of the recent rise in gas prices, have you cut back significantly on how much you drive or not?
                        May 15  Jun 14  Jun 2
                        2008    2007    2006
 
Yes                     61      58      56
No                      37      41      43
DK/NA                    2       1       1
 
 
32. As a result of the recent rise in gas prices, have you changed your summer vacation plans?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Yes                     39%     28%     43%     40%     37%     40%     35%     43%
No                      59      69      55      57      62      56      62      54
DK/NA                    3       2       3       3       1       4       3       3
 
                        Red     Blue    Purple
 
Yes                     41%     35%     40%
No                      56      63      57
DK/NA                    3       3       3
 
                        Annual Household Income.......
                        <30K    30-50   50-100  >100K
 
Yes                     48%     48%     36%     25%
No                      48      52      62      74
DK/NA                    5       0       2       1
 
TREND: As a result of the recent rise in gas prices, have you changed your summer vacation plans?
                        May 15  Jun 14
                        2008    2007
 
Yes                     39      33
No                      59      64
DK/NA                    3       3
 
 
33. Who do you blame the most for the recent increase in gasoline prices? Oil producing countries, Oil companies, President Bush, Americans who drive vehicles that use a lot of gasoline, or Normal supply and demand pressures?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Oil producing
 countries              19%     27%     12%     22%     20%     19%     21%     13%
Oil companies           35      30      38      36      31      38      36      32
President Bush          23       7      36      19      21      25      18      47
Driving vehicles
 using gas               3       3       3       3       4       2       4       1
Normal supply and
 demand pressures       14      22       9      13      17      10      15       4
DK/NA                    6      11       2       7       7       6       7       3
 
                        Red     Blue    Purple
 
Oil producing
 countries              22%     18%     18%
Oil companies           36      33      36
President Bush          21      25      23
Driving vehicles
 using gas               3       3       4
Normal supply and
 demand pressures       12      16      13
DK/NA                    7       6       6
 
                        Annual Household Income.......
                        <30K    30-50   50-100  >100K
 
Oil producing
 countries              22%     16%     22%     20%
Oil companies           36      34      39      28
President Bush          30      30      15      17
Driving vehicles
 using gas               3       2       3       4
Normal supply and
 demand pressures        5      13      15      26
DK/NA                    5       6       6       5
 
TREND: Who do you blame the most for the recent increase in gasoline prices - oil producing countries, oil companies, President Bush, Americans who drive vehicles that use a lot of gasoline or normal supply and demand pressures.
                        May 15  Jun 14
                        2008    2007
 
Oil producing
 countries              19      11
Oil companies           35      43
President Bush          23      20
Driving vehicles
 using gas               3       4
Normal supply and
 demand pressures       14      13
DK/NA                    6       9