June 2, 2006 - Gas Prices Force Americans To Cut Driving, Spending, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Oil Companies Get Most Blame For Rising Prices
As a result of rising gas prices, 56 percent of American voters say they have cut back significantly on how much they drive, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Only 34 percent of voters with annual household income of more than $100,000 are driving less, compared to 67 percent of those making less than $30,000.

There are other marked differences in the response:
  • 47 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of Democrats saying they are driving less;
  • 52 percent of white voters, compared to 69 percent of black and Hispanic voters;
  • 62 percent of women, compared to 49 percent of men.
The independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll also finds that 50 percent of American voters say they have cut back on household spending because of gas prices, with similar differences based on income, political party, gender and race.

Rising gas prices are a "very serious" or "somewhat serious" problem, 72 percent of voters say, with 28 percent who say "not too serious" or "not a problem at all." Again, 47 percent of upper income voters say gas prices are a problem, compared to 80 percent of lower income voters.

"In varying degrees, depending on whether you're rich or poor, a Democrat or a Republican, a man or a woman, black or white, Americans are feeling the pain of rising gas prices, with most of us cutting back on our driving and half of us pinching pennies to fill the tank," said Maurice Carroll, Director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Democrats will do a better job managing gas prices, American voters say 46 - 25 percent. Among Republicans, 59 percent say the GOP will do a better job, while 78 percent of Democrats and 45 percent of independent voters say Democrats will do a better job.

"Will gas prices impact this year's Congressional elections? Democrats seem to have more confidence in their party than Republicans do in their team," Carroll said.

In deciding who gets the blame for rising gas prices:
  • 90 percent of American voters give oil companies "a great deal" or "some" of the blame;
  • 82 percent blame oil-producing countries;
  • 69 percent blame normal supply and demand pressures;
  • 64 percent blame President George W. Bush;
  • 52 percent blame Americans who drive gas-guzzlers.
"There's plenty of blame to go around, but more Americans think the worst villains in the explosion of gas prices are the oil companies," Carroll said.

"The oil-producing countries, President Bush, people who drive gas-guzzlers - we think they're all at fault. But two-thirds of us shrug our shoulders and turn armchair economist; we blame normal supply-and-demand."

From May 23 - 30, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,534 registered voters nationwide. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida and nationwide as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu or call (203) 582-5201

12. 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   His


Very serious problem 35% 24% 43% 36% 32% 38% 30% 61% 40% Smwht serious 37 39 34 37 37 37 40 24 37 Not too serious 21 26 17 20 23 18 23 8 16 Not a problem at all 7 9 6 6 7 7 7 6 7 DK/NA - 1 - 1 - 1 - - -

Annual household income <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

Very serious problem 55% 36% 27% 11% Smwht serious 25 43 43 36 Not too serious 15 17 23 36 Not a problem at all 4 4 6 16 DK/NA - - 1 1



13. 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   His


Yes 50% 41% 53% 53% 45% 55% 47% 61% 62% No 49 58 46 46 55 44 52 39 38 DK/NA 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 - -

Annual household income <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

Yes 65% 56% 44% 27% No 34 44 56 73 DK/NA 2 - - -



14. 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   His


Yes 56% 47% 60% 59% 49% 62% 52% 69% 69% No 43 52 38 39 50 36 46 30 28 DK/NA 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 2

Annual household income <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

Yes 67% 66% 51% 34% No 30 33 48 66 DK/NA 3 1 1 -



15. How much do you blame - oil producing countries for the recent increase in gasoline prices: A great deal, some, not much, or not at all?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom   Wht   Blk   His


A great deal 43% 50% 44% 39% 42% 44% 43% 44% 52% Some 39 33 41 41 38 40 39 38 34 Not much 10 9 10 12 12 9 10 12 4 Not at all 5 5 3 6 7 3 5 4 9 DK/NA 3 3 2 2 1 4 3 2 1

Annual household income <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

A great deal 45% 36% 48% 40% Some 38 46 36 39 Not much 8 12 10 12 Not at all 6 4 5 7 DK/NA 3 2 1 1



16. How much do you blame - oil companies for the recent increase in gasoline prices: A great deal, some, not much, or not at all?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom   Wht   Blk   His


A great deal 63% 60% 68% 64% 61% 65% 64% 60% 58% Some 27 25 27 27 26 27 26 28 30 Not much 5 8 1 4 6 4 5 3 3 Not at all 4 6 3 4 7 2 4 5 8 DK/NA 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 3 1

Annual household income <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

A great deal 65% 64% 64% 57% Some 26 29 28 26 Not much 5 3 4 8 Not at all 4 3 4 9 DK/NA 1 1 1 -



17. How much do you blame - President Bush for the recent increase in gasoline prices: A great deal, some, not much, or not at all?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom   Wht   Blk   His


A great deal 35% 8% 53% 39% 33% 37% 30% 59% 44% Some 29 22 31 31 26 32 30 25 22 Not much 16 25 9 16 18 15 18 11 15 Not at all 19 42 5 14 23 15 21 4 16 DK/NA 1 2 2 - 1 2 1 2 3

Annual household income <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

A great deal 46% 32% 31% 25% Some 24 31 33 25 Not much 13 19 17 23 Not at all 16 17 19 27 DK/NA 2 1 1 -



18. How much do you blame - Americans who drive vehicles that use a lot of gasoline for the recent increase in gasoline prices: A great deal, some, not much, or not at all?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom   Wht   Blk   His


A great deal 19% 16% 21% 20% 15% 22% 19% 12% 20% Some 33 27 35 38 34 33 33 30 31 Not much 20 23 17 22 21 20 22 21 12 Not at all 26 33 25 20 29 22 24 36 32 DK/NA 2 2 2 - 1 3 2 2 4

Annual household income <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

A great deal 22% 21% 17% 14% Some 29 34 39 36 Not much 20 21 23 18 Not at all 27 23 20 31 DK/NA 2 2 1 -



19. How much do you blame - normal supply and demand pressures for the recent increase in gasoline prices: A great deal, some, not much, or not at all?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom   Wht   Blk   His


A great deal 30% 32% 28% 31% 33% 27% 30% 31% 34% Some 39 38 40 38 35 42 39 38 39 Not much 17 15 18 18 17 18 18 19 7 Not at all 11 13 8 12 12 10 11 7 12 DK/NA 3 1 5 2 3 4 3 5 7

Annual household income <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

A great deal 33% 28% 28% 30% Some 35 40 42 39 Not much 14 17 20 16 Not at all 12 13 8 14 DK/NA 5 2 1 -



20. Regardless of how you usually vote, do you think the Republican Party or the Democratic Party would do a better job handling gasoline prices?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom   Wht   Blk   His


Republican 25% 59% 3% 20% 28% 22% 28% 4% 20% Democratic 46 13 78 45 42 49 41 70 51 BOTH(VOL) 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 NEITHER(VOL) 16 16 10 19 19 13 16 14 15 DK/NA 12 11 8 15 10 14 13 11 13

Annual household income <30K 30-50 50-100 >100K

Republican 21% 24% 29% 33% Democratic 48 48 45 42 BOTH(VOL) 1 2 1 1 NEITHER(VOL) 16 15 15 15 DK/NA 13 11 10 9