Saturday, November 08, 2008

Exciting Discovery: Gas prices temperature map.

Whoever invented the GasBuddy.com site is a megagenius. The content is all user generated which results in a temperature style map to display the price per gallon of gasoline around the country. The map is updated daily. At the site, you can zoom in to view your county, and in some cases, your city. Like google maps, you can click to drag to a new location. You can also search by zip code to find what is the current price of gas by gas station in your city.


It's really interesting that the map resembles, in some really obvious ways, the electoral map of the recent election. There are also some stark differences. Speaking of electoral maps, this site has them going all the way back to the time of George Washington, when there weren't even really parties yet. It's interesting looking back through history that the last time there was a true third party candidate it was 1912. And, the South for the most part went to Democrats until 1964 when the southern states went to Republican Barry Goldwater instead of Democrat Lyndon Johnson and stayed that way until even now, with the exception of Jimmy Carter who was from Georgia. I'd guess Goldwater was also from the south, but wikipedia says he's from the same state as this year's loser.

So there you go, two great databases — one gas prices and the other history of electoral votes — presented visually. I love well-organized and presented visual data.

Now, if anyone can explain why the highest gas prices are concentrated along the west coast and in New England, regions that are Democratic strongholds, I'd love to hear your theories. I've got some ideas, but I'd love to hear what you think!

The same thing goes for the South, why was it Democratic and then suddenly went Republican? I have no theories there, so I'd be especially interested to hear what you think.

9 comments:

Weirdbuglady said...

Aww geez... my whole state is *bright red*... was hoping all these great gas prices I've been hearing about would exist when I go back home for winter break! Guess not.

And interesting trends, not sure what to make of that. Hmm.

Sheryl Karas said...

I think it has to do with population. i just saw maps comparing red and blue states, counties and regions with density of population. Blue regions had a denser population, overall, than red ones.

The Empty Envelope said...

MN is pretty green. Green gas and blue politics. I have heard that our gas comes down through Canada, so I don't know if it's Alaska gas or what.

Not only that but it's also very green in the ecological sense.

Field Notes said...

So, I've only got two theories about the gas/blue state connection, and they are only theories in development, not very solidified...

I'm thinking since Democrats are famous for "tax and spend' politics, the gas would be higher in blue states because taxes on gas are higher. The other thing I'm thinking could drive the connection is that blue, Dem. states also tend to be more environmentally conscious so they may impose tougher environmental standards on how gas is formulated and delivered and that would increase its cost.

Jenn said...

Interesting, off to dig more deeply into both sites. I wonder if the cost has to do with transpotration at all? Where the closest refineries are having something to do with cost to transport...??? Worth looking into though, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Gas tax, people, gas tax...

Laura Ann said...

I'm in no way an expert on anything, so this is just an opinion from a southern lady. Political games aside, I believe the reason the South has voted primarily Republican is because so much of the South is in the Bible Belt and holds fast to opinions that seem out dated to many others across the country. We love God, our country, our family, and our guns. We also love our freedom and guaranteed basic rights (although some of those have taken a hit in the last few years). Normally the Republican party is the more conservative of the two and it's usually that party that the majority of those in the South relate to.

Carapace said...

I'm from Texas, not The South, which you'll notice is mostly North of us:p. Some thoughts about the gas thing:
We really don't have high local taxes adding to the gas costs. Plus, Texas at least is still producing some oil(I drive by small-scale pumping operations every day on my way to work), so that may have a bit to do with it. This is only a guess; what I know about economics could fit on a very small pin.

Well, the south flipped to Republican so quickly after the Civil Rights Act (this is not a guess- LBJ knew he was giving up the south when he signed the bill). As to why it's stayed that way...I could start with Nixon's Southern Strategy and go from there. but how long do you want these comments anyway?

Field Notes said...

Thanks for the the insight Carapace!

Please keep going =D