But What Do People Care About?

Deacon notes below that the television networks have been furiously promoting the high gas price story. But I don’t think gasoline prices are a top priority for very many voters. Earlier today, I spoke with my Congressman, Col. John Kline. John told me that his office tracks and categorizes all incoming communications, whether by email, phone or whatever. Currently, no less than 56% of communications coming to John’s office are on a single topic: immigration. Moreover, essentially none of these appear to be the result of campaigns by pressure groups of one stripe or another. Virtually all are apparently spontaneous and often passionate messages from constituents. Consistent with our own poll results, very, very few of these constituents are writing to urge the importance of a path to citizenship. The near-universal message is: get control of our borders.

Gas prices? They’re mentioned by 4% of those who write to Congressman Kline’s office. I suspect that this pattern is pretty typical.

PAUL wonders: Does the fact that people aren’t writing their congressman about gas prices mean that the hikes aren’t creating politically meaningful resentment? I don’t know, but I suspect not. At a minimum, I think the increase in prices at the pump is preventing President Bush and possibly Congress from taking advantage of the good will that ordinarily would flow from the overall success of our economy and the substantial gains on the employment front.


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