WASHINGTON -- In a new poll released earlier this week by the multi-industry coalition Stop Oil Speculation Now, 80% of Americans polled said that they believe oil commodities speculators are manipulating the price of oil, and that more than two-thirds (67%) believe Congress should pass legislation creating new regulations governing oil speculators. Additionally, 70% of Americans polled said that oil commodities speculators are driving up the price of oil and profiting at the expense of the U.S. economy.
The bipartisan poll was conducted by Bill McInturff, founder of Public Opinion Strategies and Mark Mellman, CEO of The Mellman Group. Public Opinion Strategies is a Republican polling firm currently polling for presidential candidate Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.). The Mellman Group is a Democratic polling firm representing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).
"This national survey of voters, the first of its kind, has helped us better understand their thoughts and opinions on the highly controversial issue of speculation in the oil commodities markets and the role it plays in driving up the price of gasoline," said McInturff. "We found that after listening to both sides of the debate, 67% of the voters polled remained solidly in support of Congress passing new regulations on the activities of oil speculators; 68% also believed that new regulations would stabilize and ultimately bring down the price of gas."
Additional findings from the survey include:
Support for curbing oil speculation crossed all demographics and political philosophies: 62% of conservatives, 69% of moderates and 71% of liberals believe that Congress should pass new regulations. Republicans support additional regulation on oil speculators by a margin of 55% to 33%. Overall, awareness of the oil speculation issue is high at 63%. More voters polled (23%) said that oil speculators were "most to blame" for the high price of gasoline, over oil companies (20%), President Bush (20%), the countries that produce oil (11%), Congress (10%) and high consumer demand in the United States (10%).
The survey was conducted among 800 registered voters, 98% of whom indicated that they were "likely" to vote in the 2008 elections. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46%.
The Air Transport Association (ATA), a leading member of the Stop Oil Speculation Now campaign, sponsored this bi-partisan research poll.
The Stop Oil Speculation Now coalition is a diverse organization of industries, businesses, labor groups and ultimately concerned citizens, united in support of responsible energy policies and prices.