AAA reported today that Florida’s gas prices has hit a record high of $3.00 per gallon. The first time that statewide average has topped the $3 mark. TV stations are reporting it first: CBS 4 in Orlando is just one.
WESH 2 in Tallahassee has the effects of gas prices on Florida’s tourism industry:
Florida’s gas prices hit an all-time record high over the weekend.The statewide average for regular unleaded is now $3 a gallon, WESH 2 News reported.Florida tourism officials have been stressing for the past few years that rising gas prices wouldn’t affect the state’s No. 1 industry, but the numbers are starting to paint a different picture.
The state tourism marketing agency found in a recent survey that more than four out of 10 tourists are staying closer to home this year and not driving to Florida.The fuel costs’ effect on airfare also seems to be having an impact. Tampa International is down 75,000 passengers from this time last year.Hotels on the Space Coast said it’s been the worst July in years, with occupancy rates off by 15 percent. Other parts of the state report similar drop-offs.
Okay, so consider that we have hit $3 per gallon just before school starts. We haven’t hit the middle of the hurricane season. We don’t know where the Isreal-Hezbollah conflict will go. We don’t know what will happen with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Gas prices could go even higher.
If Democrats are smart, Republicans should be scared. Voters vote based on their pocketbooks. Higher property taxes. Higher mortgage rates. Higher insurance premiums. Higher gas prices.
That is a difficult list to ignore. And the Republican answer will always start with “Yeah, but…” There is no denying that we are paying more for those items listed above than we were in the past. If Democrats can find a coherent way to point the finger at Republicans, this could be a VERY long election for the Grand Old Party.
Then again, that is a VERY BIG IF. The Democrats haven’t been able to find a coherent message… even with Tom Tom pointing the way. Makes you think the Marx brothers are running the Democratic Party.
Those of us in the GOP need to whistle by the graveyard here…