Rising Gas Prices Walloping Voters In Nevada, A Key Midterm State
At a gas station about a 15-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip, drivers said higher prices are forcing them to make difficult choices.
“It’s really affecting my budget… I got to focus more on spending on gas,” said one driver.
“It seems like we definitely need to make some changes,” said another driver when asked if inflation is motivating his vote. [bold, links added]
At an average of $5.54 a gallon for regular gasoline, Nevada is second to only California for the most expensive gas in the country, according to AAA. That average price is $1.65 higher than a year ago.
Republicans have focused their midterm pitch to Nevada voters on inflation.
In the state’s Senate race, former Attorney General Adam Laxalt is trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto.
At a campaign event near Las Vegas, Laxalt said Democrats’ embrace of renewables over fossil fuels is to blame for the increase in gas prices.
“Maybe the long-term goal to get more renewables, that’s fine. But our system is not ready for that today, and we are seeing the effects of that. We have all-time high gas prices here. Energy prices are on the rise,” said Laxalt.
“Nobody signed up for this.”
Analysts said Nevada typically has higher prices than other states because of a mix of taxes, lack of infrastructure, and reliance on other states.
The average price of gas in Nevada continues to skyrocket by an average of 37.7 cents in a week. Average gas prices now stand at $5.34 a gallon, according to a @GasBuddy survey of more than 1,000 gas stations in the state. MORE: https://t.co/k6kqt73t3c pic.twitter.com/Yu3xUJIiYj
— NewsTalk780KOH (@NewsTalk780KOH) October 3, 2022
Nationally, prices are elevated. A regular gallon of gas costs $3.83, according to AAA, which is $0.63 more than a year ago.
Democrats have pointed to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a driver behind higher gas prices. They have also pivoted to other issues, like abortion access.
In a statement responding to Laxalt, Cortez Masto said:
“While I’ve been working to lower costs for Nevadans, my opponent has been cashing in, defending the Big Oil companies profiting off high gas prices. Laxalt’s support for an abortion ban in Nevada is wrong, and I’m not going to let him drag us backward.”
Laxalt says his opponent is highlighting abortion to distract from the economy and inflation.
“I would absolutely not vote for a federal ban,” said Laxalt. “They’re trying to use this as a battering ram in this state. But there’s no scenario where there are 61 votes for an all-out federal ban on abortion.”
Cortez Masto’s campaign has outspent Laxalt’s by nearly a four-to-one margin, according to data compiled by OpenSecrets. Polls have shown this race is within the margin of error.
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