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Gasoline Prices, Iraq, or Both?
This is a plot of Pres. Bush's approval rating and the inverse of gas price index. Looks like a strong correlation:
One of my current econometrics students is working on a similar hypothesis, trying to determine which is more important to presidential approval, accumulated U.S. deaths in Iraq or the price of gasoline. While the talking heads and the far left would have us believe it is the former, it is all too likely that it is really the latter.
UPDATE: More analysis here and here