According to a recent poll, most Americans place the blame for skyrocketing prices at the pump squarely at the feet of anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan. The poll found that Americans were more likely to blame Mrs. Sheehan for their gasoline woes than they were illegal aliens, homosexuals, child molesters or Democrats.
Prices said to be highest within 100 mile radius of Mrs. Sheehan's protest
By Deanna Swift
WACO, TX—Prices at the gas pump have been surging through the all important summer driving season. But whose fault is it that our Ford Excursions and Cadillac Escalades are so expensive to fill? A new poll may finally have the answer to a question that has so many Americans pumping mad. [Click thumbnail right to view the "Sheehan effect".]
The results of the poll confirm that most Americans place the blame for skyrocketing prices at the pump squarely at the feet of anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan. Energy analysts say that the poll's conclusions aren't surprising. Since Mrs. Sheehan began her protest against the Iraq war near the ranch of President George W. Bush, oil prices have shot up nearly $10 a barrel.
Pumping mad at protest mom
According to the poll of 2,130 driving-age adults, conducted by Polltronics, Inc., 73% of Americans say that they think Cindy Sheehan is to blame for surging gas prices at the pump. Of that number, 31% said that Mrs. Sheehan bears all of the responsibility for the rising cost of gas, 26% said that the protesting mom deserves some of the blame and 18% said that she is partly responsible for sky-high gas prices. The remaining 25% believed that Mrs. Sheehan is to blame, but not for the high price of gasoline.
Who is to blame?
Pollsters then asked respondents to rank various individuals and groups according to the degree of blame they deserve for the recent surge in fuel costs. The list, read to participants in randomized order, included Mrs. Sheehan as well as illegal aliens, homosexuals, child molesters and Democrats. In each case, respondents said that they were more likely to blame Mrs. Sheehan for their woes at the pump than they were any of the other categories. Besides the protesting mom, illegal aliens and homosexuals were most likely to be fingered for the high cost of gasoline.
Prices 'through the roof' in Crawford
Drivers near Crawford, TX say that gas prices have shot up in the weeks since Mrs. Sheehan set up camp near the ranch where President George W. Bush is spending his 5 week vacation. According to Texasgasprices.com, a gallon of gas at one Chevron station in Waco is now $2.69. That's just 18 miles from where Mrs. Sheehan has been presiding over her anti-war protest for the past three weeks.
What would Cindy pay?
Although Cindy Sheehan may be the cause of soaring gasoline costs, she is not immune from feeling a pinch at the pump. The protesting mom is said to drive a vehicle notorious for its fuel inefficiency: the new Hummer H3, a super-size SUV that gets just 20 miles per gallon on the highway. The pink H3 was reportedly donated to Mrs. Sheehan by the activist group Code Pink, while her gas bill is paid by the notorious anti-bush philanthropist George Soros.
How this Polltronics poll was conducted
Samples for Polltronics polls are random digit samples of telephone numbers selected using the "probability proportionate to size" method, which means numbers from across the country are selected in proportion to the number of voters in each state.
A computer selects the first eight digits of an actual working number and then appends a two-digit random number to produce a random-digit dial (RDD) sample. An RDD sample allows for contacting not only listed and unlisted numbers, but also households with new numbers.
In order to ensure a distribution of ages and genders within households, the interviewer selects the respondent by asking to speak to the adult with the next birthday. Quotas are applied to ensure the sample mirrors the proportions of voters nationally. Specifically, the aim is for a gender split nationwide of 53% female / 47% male, as well as regional quotas.
The RDD selected phone numbers are sent to the interviewers through computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) software. Both the software and human supervisors monitor each step of the interviewing process. While calls are automatically dialed, the system does not use predictive dialing so prospective respondents always find a live interviewer when they answer their phone.
How much has Cindy Sheehan caused the price of gas to rise in your area? Talk back to firstname.lastname@example.org.