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Monday, June 09, 2008

Red America's Gasoline Spending

The front page of today's New York Times had an interesting graphic, featuring a map highlighting the percent of income people spend on gasoline. Clearly, as the accompanying story makes clear, people who live in rural areas spend a much greater percent of their income on gasoline.
A survey by Mr. Rozell’s firm late last month found that the gasoline crisis is taking the highest toll, as a percentage of income, on people in rural areas of the South, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming and North and South Dakota.
Across the country, Americans spend about 4% of their income on gasoline. The recent peak was 4.5% in 1981 -- meaning that gas prices are still NOT at all-time highs in relative terms.

Eyeballing the gas price map, I was struck by how much it resembled the electoral maps we've all come to know in the past decade.

As a percent of income, Red America pays more for gasoline.

Perhaps that helps explain why Republicans are the party of oil interests.

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