With Saudi Arabia in the lead, the OPEC+ oil cartel has announced a sharp cut in production of crude oil. That drop in supply will jack up the price and could be bad news for President Joe Biden and the Democrats who have benefited from the recent easing of gasoline prices after a big spike early in the summer.

Among those pleased by the news is Russian President Vladimir Putin, who needs more oil revenue to pay for his faltering invasion of Ukraine and whose country is facing a looming European ban on Russian oil in December. Speaking to reporters, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “It’s clear that OPEC+ is aligning with Russia with today’s announcement.”

However much it helps the Russians, the Biden administration’s more immediate worry is how a rise in prices at the gas pump might shift votes away from Democrats in the November midterm elections. Even though no president and no political party has control over decisions made by OPEC, the Saudis or Putin, the sad truth is that many people’s political choices have more to do with emotion or misperception than with rationality and, if prices go up, they blame the guy in the White House.

There is one group of Americans whose voting rights have never been endangered by the Supreme Court, Congress or any legislature. That group is ignorant voters. They may not be a majority, but they are certainly numerous enough to swing an election.

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