New poll shows that Black and Latino Californians were hit hardest by high gas prices

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The recent spike in gasoline prices took the greatest financial toll on Black and Latino Californians, though more than half of all adults in the state reported suffering at least moderate economic hardship, according to a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California.

Californians living in the Inland Empire and Central Valley, where distant commutes or long drives for work and daily chores are commonplace, also felt a far greater pinch due to steep prices at the pump compared with those living in the state’s densely populated urban landscapes, especially the San Francisco Bay Area.

State Republicans have used high gas prices, which have been on the decline since peaking in the late spring and early summer, to attack Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature’s Democratic leadership for refusing to temporarily suspend the state’s highest-in-the-nation gas tax.

But neither Newsom nor Democratic lawmakers appear to have suffered politically due to the high gas prices or other economic turbulence around the nation, the poll showed.

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