.
If gasoline hits record prices this summer, how much will it hurt President Obama's re-election chances?‬ ‪ ‬
February 14th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

If gasoline hits record prices this summer, how much will it hurt President Obama's re-election chances?‬ ‪ ‬

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Americans' pain at the gas pump could mean pain on election night for President Obama come November.

The national average for regular unleaded gasoline is now $3.52 a gallon, according to the Energy Department. That's up more than 4 cents a gallon from a week ago, and experts are predicting that this summer, gas prices could go higher. Much higher. Think record highs.

Gasoline could top $4 a gallon by June, and in some places it could be near $5. Big cities like Chicago and San Francisco could be especially hard hit.

According to AAA, the all-time high U.S. average was $4.11 a gallon in the summer of 2008. We could easily hit a new record as summer driving season kicks into high gear and Obama gears up for the fall campaign.

Consider that when Obama took office in January of 2009, the average cost for a gallon of gas was $1.79. Gas prices have almost doubled since he took office, and they're headed higher.

There are several reasons for the jump in gasoline prices - including the possibility of war in the Middle East. There's also the closing of refineries, along with the increased demand for gasoline as summer travel season approaches. Plus the government requires a switch from cheaper winter gas formulations to more expensive summer ones.

But all those reasons aside, whether it's fair or not - the American motoring public has always tended to blame the guy in the White House for high gas prices.

Here’s my question to you: If gasoline hits record prices this summer, how much will it hurt President Obama's re-election chances?‬ ‪ ‬

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Susan in Ohio:
It will hurt, but with all the current turmoil in the GOP, I still think Obama will pull it off in November. I only hope he can get a Congress that will work with him. We really need to get alternative energies going in a serious way or we are literally doomed. More wind farms, solar panels, geothermal and nuclear power plants will do wonders for lessening our addiction to oil.

Mark:
It's what this socialist regime wants, to control our everyday lives including our transportation. Your president has this vision of a European-type of transportation society where we all use buses, trains, bicycles, and very few cars because of the price of gas. Remember what he said? "We can't drive our SUVs” around....

Lisa on Long Island:
People with a brain will connect gas prices with what’s going on in the Middle East, not the president. What the other 90% of Americans will think is anybody's guess.

Abram:
If Obama hadn’t killed the Keystone Pipeline, gas prices would be down. So Obama lost my vote.

James in Greenville, North Carolina:
Not at all, Jack. The Obama faithful are immune. The smell of gas fumes will not deter them from Obamamania. I really don't think the liberals even drive, do they? Obama knows the faithful will never falter over a few more dollars per gallon. What is it the preacher says when you get married? "Love is blind?"

Joe in New York:
Americans have a short memory, Jack. As long as the price of gas is back down by November, nobody is really going to care.

Mark:
If gasoline hits five bucks a gallon this summer, I will WALK through the snow and ice next fall to vote AGAINST Obama. If it's two dollars a gallon, I will drive over to vote against him anyway.

soundoff (143 Responses)
  1. Mel - Houston

    How do you blame the President for fuel prices. Fuel prices are controlled by the world market place which is controlled by the greedy speculators.

    February 14, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  2. George in PA

    Not as important as if the stock market tanks!

    February 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  3. John from Alabama

    Jack: Point and blame everyone for high gas prices. Speculators for driving up the price, government for not pushing for more electric or natural gas powered cars; and Congress providing tax dollars to oil companies who make billions in profits every year. President Obama did not invent this mess, and it is going to take business and government working together to slow the price of gas. It is a fact that the gasoline powered engine is a dinosaur that pollutes the air, and holds everyone hostage to oil companies. High price of gas has been around since 1976.

    February 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  4. Ed from MD

    I wasn't aware that the president set gas prices, but I am aware the government subsidizes ethanol. Any more of that and we'll be running on corn syrup.

    February 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  5. marcia in west virginia

    It probably will with the rightwing nuts, even tho the rich oil companies are to blame for increases. The price of a barrel of oil hasen't gone up like the price of a gallon. What type of company had hugh,HUGE profits last year?

    February 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  6. John from Alabama

    Jack: Point and blame everyone for high gas prices. Speculators who drive up the price, government for not pushing more electric and natural gas powered cars, and Congress for doing nothing which they are very good at doing. We give billions of tax dollars to oil companies so we can pay $4.00 a gallon. President Obama did not invent this mess which began in 1976, but high gas prices will not help anyone get re-elected, either. I hope Congressman will lose in both houses, and finally start to attack the issues of all classes. Why does Congress only have a 10% approval rating?

    February 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  7. Bill of New Mexico

    Obama's chances will be reduced.

    However, with the Republicans continuing to ignore Independents, Obama probably will have an even chance provided Romney is the candidate.

    February 14, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Obama should have zero chance for re-election, under any circumstances.

    His "budget" is a fairy tale.

    February 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  9. Richard Texas

    When people are unhappy because of high gasoline prices they are going to take that anger out on one of two entities. The oil companies who have no face or the president who does. It is always much easier to blame a person then it is to blame a company. You can bet that Obama and his administration will be the ones taking the brunt of all the criticism. Even though they had nothing to do with the price increase they will become the proverbial scapegoat!!

    February 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  10. Outbama2012

    Ofcourse, it will hit obama more than anything he'd imagine in his worst nightmare . Obama's countless broken promises will wash his re-election bid down the drain and he will be acutely aware of himself itching towards becoming the worst ever president the US ever had in her great and proud history ...2012 will surely mark the end of era for obama and marxism

    February 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  11. MARK, OKLAHOMA CITY

    If gasoline hits five bucks a gallon this summer, I will WALK through the snow and ice next fall to vote AGAINST Obama. If it's two dollars a gallon I will drive over to vote against him anyway.

    February 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  12. Brian (Texas)

    Seriously Jack? That's what you're concerned with? We spent 8 years under President Bush with record gas prices putting small trucking companies out of business and driving up the prices on goods and services, 2 years under President Obama with moderately high gas prices...and at times were pretty low considering the previous prices we'd seen. And here, you're concerned about whether going through a few months of high prices at the pump are going to hurt President Obama's chances this November? Seriously? There's a couple trillion other issues, and you pick the one thing that no one really is concerned with until the election summer.

    February 14, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  13. jen

    If the Republicans continue to do more foreign oil favors inside u.s. while doing the bidding for domestic gas companies that continue to threaten our way of life with wants of more oill and gas ,so sellouts can sell to foreign countries,,,Obama will be re-elected due to the treasonous ways of the republicans

    February 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  14. Brad, Portland, OR

    I think there will be pressure to reign in Wall Street speculators and the windfall profits of oil companies. Some kind of windfall profits tax will be necessary.

    If the consumer is out there hurting from high gas prices, it'll be hard to justify record profits for the oil companies.

    February 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  15. tom bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Voters associate Big Oil with Republicans not the President. The President is demanding Congress end subsidies and loop holes so that companies like Exxon start paying taxes. If Big Oil puts the screws to us again everyone will vote Democrat.

    February 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  16. LA Belle

    If President Obama had control over gas prices, he would have already lowered the price. There's not much anyone can do about the manipulation from foreign countries and oil companies. Why do we keep sending foreign countries Trillions of our tax dollars and fighting their wars, while they clearly are cheating us at every opportunity? Drill on American soil and put people back to work !

    February 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  17. Richard, Morganton, NC

    NONE, We will go to WW III in the middle east and that will save the day. It worked for WW I and WW II and remember it really worked for King George II.

    February 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  18. Larry in Houston

    Higher gas prices mean: people are getting Jobs / people are hiring. When more people are out of work, the price of gas typically goes Down.

    February 14, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  19. Lawrence from Lawrence

    More importantly what does that tell us about our electorate? Do people really think that stuff we put in our tanks is cheap to manufacture? Our gas prices are FAR lower than other industrialized nations. I suppose Obama could raise taxes to further subsidize gas... what's the price tag for America's fuel "freedom" all year despite higher taxes in April?

    February 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  20. Toni

    Gee, I thought it was already at record prices!

    South Carolina

    February 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  21. Loren

    Every uptick in gas prices means an uptick in the prices of other goods, in the cost of summer vacations. If the parents can't take the kids on vacation due to cost, who is going to get blamed? While the problems go back far beyond the Obama Presidency, even both Bush Presidencies, the guy sitting in the chair today gets the blame, fair or not.

    February 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  22. Joe - New York, New York

    Americans have a short memory Jack. As long as the price of gas is back down by November, nobody is really going to care.

    February 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  23. Richard Oak Harbor, Wa

    Petroleum commodity futures are determined well in advance at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Oil Company stock is traded on Wall Street. If gas prices reach record highs at the pump this Summer it will be routinely seasonal given the the fluidity of current world oil markets. President Obama could be doing many things that might make matters worse but not a whole lot that could make oil prices lower at this time.

    February 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  24. ken

    I do not think high gas prices will hurt his chances at all. I think he is going to win no matter what. Most people will vote for him because they are looking at the country now and in the short term not at the reckoning that is comming.

    February 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  25. chris

    it will hurt him and since he took office it has been up so it will destroy his re election bid along wiht obamcare will destroy him

    February 14, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  26. Simon/Orlando

    Let's say his election chances will run out of gas.

    February 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  27. Carla from Alabama

    If the 99% who don't own the oil (or much of anything else, for that matter) will stand up and vote against the 1% who DO own the oil (and pretty much everything else, for that matter)., Obama will win in a landslide. However, be prepared - because that 99% who control everything in this country will definitely hike the prices just to try to hurt Obama's chances. They also get a huge kick out of seeing the rest of us squirm under the burden.

    February 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  28. TomInRochNY

    If the republican candidates continue to be pandering, ranting and out-of-touch neophytes nothing will hurt Obama's chances. I really wish the right had a clue. When William F. Buckley was alive they did. What happened?

    Tom, Rochester, NY

    February 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  29. James - Alexandria, VA

    It will not affect him one way or the other. The president has no say over gas prices. That is because the oil and gas industries are not regulated which needs to change.

    February 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  30. Paul - North Carolina

    That depends on what percentage of the voting public is rational. Rational people know that in the short term, short of declaring a national emergency and freezing prices, the president has virtually no control over the retail price of gasoline. They will base their voting choices on other factors. Irrational voters believe that Michelle Bachman can sprinkle fairy dust over the CEO's of the major oil companies and bring the price down to $2.00 by tomorrow morning. Those people are going to vote for whichever not-up-to-the-job candidate the GOP nominates. Sadly, if nothing has changed since 2010, the irrationals may still be in the majority.

    February 14, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  31. Dave - Phx

    It shouldn't hurt him at all. I didn't realize Obama became the ruler of the oil cartels, or CEO of Exxon/Mobil/Greedco.

    February 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  32. Kevin in CA

    It'll actually help him a great deal. Everyone realizes that big oil companies are pro-Republican and that gasoline price jacking just before an election is an attempt to discredit the President for political purposes.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  33. Jim

    Jack,

    Not at all. Everyone knows it's the big oil companies that call the shots on gas prices, and that it's the Republicans who support them. If anything, high gas prices will remind the electorate why we DON'T want the party of oilmen like Bush and Cheney pulling the strings in Washington.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    February 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  34. Sylvia from San Diego

    I hope that it totally derails his plans for a second term.... Our country can not take any more of his HOPE and CHANGE!

    February 14, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  35. kim smith, Dodge City, Ks.

    Why should it hurt his chances? He doesn't set oil and gas prices, the Republican CEOs of Big Oil do that. Come to think of it, they control every aspect of the industry and pay no taxes. I guess maybe I should be mad at the President, for not busting up their cozy monopoly, eliminating lobbyists, and forcing them to pay their taxes.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  36. Ralph Spyer from Chicago Illinois

    If Israeli does a December 7 like the japanese did to us against Iran, because of a perceve smoking gun.Then 8 dollars a gallon is not out of the question.America is a exporter of gas and oil, their is big money to be made here, If Romney is the GOP candidate he making money with the record prices. and Obama wins by default

    February 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  37. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I don't think it would hurt his chances at all. It hasn't mattered whether we had a Republican or Democrat president, oil prices always seem to find a way to rise. It is the speculators that control these prices. Until something is done about them we will be at their mercy.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  38. Michele

    If gasoline continues to rise and hits record highs this summer. Obama would have no chance at a second term. Its bad enough that so many americans are out of work and then to have to pay high gas prices while looking for work would just inflame many americans including democrats. He might as well roll out the red carpet and welcome Mitt to the White House and save America from the drama of a big political fight this summer and fall!

    February 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  39. Ed from California

    None, It's not him controlling the prices, it's FREE enterprise w/out the interference of BIG Government. Isn't that what all you teabaggers want? Let business have it's way...... and big business wants that too just as long as they still get their taxpayer funded "socialized" subsidies that is.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  40. Emmett M. Smith

    Dear Jack,
    if gasoline pricessoar this summer, Obama's reelection prospects will fly away too. Americans treat affordable gasoline prices like a god-given right! Modern Americans' way of life is built around their cars.
    Emmett Smith
    Mobile, AL

    February 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  41. Michele

    North Carolina

    February 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  42. David Marsh

    The only thing is going to affect Obama's chances would be a worthy opponent!!! There is a gas station on every corner if you just bought twenty dollars of gas at a time and let them store it and you'll see gas prices come down fast. David Marsh, Port Huron, MI

    February 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  43. BILL, WI

    Not a reason to worry, there are far more pressing issues to think about. Payroll tax cut, or payroll tax holiday whichever. SEN Reid has stated he does not see the reason to bring it to the floor for a vote. Without a vote it expires at the end of the month. With this gameplay already in motion, is the country running the chance of not having a budget voted on again this year. Pres Obama and the Dems have been caught playing gottcha politics, and the Repubs have put the ball into the hands of the Dems. It is now their play or are we looking at 1400 days without a budget to be voted on.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  44. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    Its funny but true, what goes around comes around. About 18 months ago I wrote-"When gas hits $5 watch the nation turn. It will hit $5, we earn less, go fewer places and the economy wont budge (forget what the politicians are doing). Its not an Obama thing or a Republican thing its an oil thing with our lovely Arab neighbors. There is always turmoil in one of the Arab spring nations and by summer we can expect wardrums in Iran, US warships in the straits and oil at a premium. Anyone have the solution ? sure, but its the same speech "lets reduce dependance on foreign oil"- WHEN?

    February 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  45. Joe

    Where was gasoline $1.79 a gallon in 2009? Certainly no where I drove. For me, gas has hovered somewhere between $3-$4 a gallon for as long as I can remember. Hopefully most Americans aren't naive enough to think that whoever the president is will actually affect the price of gas. The biggest factor that will drive gasoline prices down is reducing demand. That means investing in renewable energy and hybrid/electric vehicles. And in the end, that's something that the public needs to embrace themselves.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  46. bob z. from pa.

    he will do what he always does lie and blame somebody else

    February 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  47. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    Personally I hope gas prices go over $10 a gallon. Then we invest more money in smart energy because its relatively cheap, and discover the real source of power. Money grubbers are squabbling over digging up more sludge, at the cost of OUR environment for another what... 100 years of oil? Meanwhile enough energy reaches us from the sun every hour to power the entire planet for a year. Oh, and the estimated life of that power plant? 5 billion years. Game over, oil loses. They have the technology NOW to pave roads with solar panels. Wonder whos keeping that out of the market??

    February 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  48. David of Alexandria, VA

    I think that if everyone remembers the EPA "Say No to Carbon" record and the 100,000 people still unemployed remember the Canadian pipeline non-decision, he might not have the soaring oratory to cover his own 6. Of course, if he had a comprehensive energy policy, he might be able to fall back on that - ooops, no policy? Better start worrying.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  49. Jim, from Concord, NC

    It will be very bad, indeed, despite the fact that no president has any influence on oil prices (short of initiating war).
    It's an unfortunate fact of political life that they guy seen to be in charge will take the hit for anything negatively affecting the voters' bank accounts.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  50. Mr D

    The government got the lead out of gas. Now it's time to get the lead out of the economy. Rising gas prices are not going to help, and could thicken the plot in the presidential race.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  51. pad

    none he will just get some gas money from China.
    paul

    ames ia

    February 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  52. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    It won't matter as President Obama's only chance of winning is if the GOP nominates Santorum or Ron Paul. People are tired of not working and think that the other people will change things for the better. Unfortunately, the GOP has no real plan other than cut taxes for the rich and go to war.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  53. Eve Lemon, Texas

    If the big oil companies think manipulatin of gas prices upward will help defeat Obama, they will. They want to keep the generous subsidies the republicans have given them. Eve of Texas

    February 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  54. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The U.S. auto makers are making more gas efficient cars and Americans are still purchasing autos, I'd say higher gas prices shouldn't affect President Obama's re-election.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  55. Dave, Orlando, FL

    The oil companies always have an excuse. In the summer it’s higher demand for gasoline, in the winter it’s higher demand for heating oil. Don’t we ever lower demand for gas in the winter and lower demand for heating oil in the summer? But as far as Obama is concerned, right now he’s circling the drain, how much worse can it get?

    February 14, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  56. Gigi Oregon

    I never blame high gas prices on the President unless he supports Corporate greed. And that usually has been the Republican party. And their trickle down policies and their let's pass this on to the middle class.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  57. jack

    A number of years ago, we were told that even if more oil was available, there was not enough refineries to handle it. Today, they're closing refineries. We are told that it is all about supply and demand and what was reported last month? That the number one export in dollar value last year was gasoline and diesel fuel. It was number two in 2010. Another way to manipulate the markets? It is well known that the investment banks and traders control the pricing and are hardley regulated. Want to see prices drop-Make them take posession of the oil.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  58. Charles - San Antonio

    If anything bad happens, we will blame the goverment, and who better in the goverment to blame then the president. After all, he lives in the white house and is the leader of the free world. I know that the republicans will blame the president, especially those republicans trying to take President Obama's job. However, if we start passing out blame for our problems, who should we balme for creating the most signficant financial crises since the great depressioin? Who should we blame for gridlock in Washington DC? I blame republicans!

    February 14, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  59. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, it depends on what the spin machines can do with independents. Republican spin mongers will do their best to get independents to blame the president. Democrat sping meisters will try and pin the blame on big oil, Wall Street and the investor class. I think it will depend on how the rest of the economy is going at election time.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  60. Dan in Albuquerque

    No president can control oil prices to any degree. The answer is to do limited new drilling, but mainly make a serious attack on resaearching and developing alternative fuels

    February 14, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  61. Jim

    I think the president should be putting pressure on the oil companies to drop gas prices but I don't blame the president. Higher gas prices mean higher profit margins for oil companies. Welcome to our capitalistic society.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  62. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    With all the new deep driling in the gulf of Mexico (not Texas) the forward thinker might conclude , if you want crude,
    go to the Gulf and scoop some up, before they suck it up ! (The foks in charge never do.) The world population, although they did not know it in their earlier times, had it pretty good before the car and gasoling, no doubt they will be better off without those and stick to radio, wind and solar alternatives, and lots of wool clothing too !

    February 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  63. Bobber

    The price of oil goes DOWN the price of gas goes UP. Something smells fishy. First they use the excuse that gas prices are going up because the price of oil went up. Now the price of gas goes up when the pirce of oil goes down.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  64. Daniel

    It's just as you said Jack. It's purely speculation on Wall-Street that keeps the gas and oil high. Why blame Obama when you should be blaming the Republicans in Congress for siding with the oil giants. I don't see them saying, "Hey, get your hands out of my wallet at the pumps."

    February 14, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  65. FoolKiller

    It's our own fault. If we were all driving electric cars like Obama wants, we wouldn't need any gas. It's not his fault. Now repeat after me...

    February 14, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  66. Paul Ontario Canada

    The USA will be at war with Iran by summer so that is what he will blame the high gas price on.
    He will also get re-elected like Bush did when the Iraq war was going on.

    For some reason, Americans always re-elect war time presidents.
    Not a bad deal, start a war and get re-elected.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  67. Al

    With Santorum or Romney running he won't have any problem. Repubs have shot themselves in the foot.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  68. Jim

    Search the Global Oil Scam

    February 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  69. Cal in CA

    I guess everyone forgot about mid 2008 when gas was hitting $5 a gallon in California. Well, most people do have pretty short memories. Another thing you forgot to mention is that refined gasoline is now the U.S.'s largest export. Yes, the oil companies are subsidizing the gas exports by making Americans pay higher prices at the pump. If people wake up and look at the facts they'll see this has nothing to do with Obama and everything to do with the profits of Exxon, BP and the others.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  70. Jeff in San Diego

    Well if it does, he has only himself to blame for not doing anything about commodities speculation – the driving force for high gas prices. I'll believe its supply the day I see a line for gas at stations that don't have enough. When Obama picked his friends at Goldman over the American people, he chose his fate. So if gas rises and he looses, it was his decision. Funny thing is, Republicans will still be shouting Drill, Baby Drill, oblivious to the fact that we have enough gas supply and that deregulation of the commodities markets is what caused souring prices.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  71. Pete- NJ

    The Republicans set the defeat of Obama as their first objective, and I perceive the oil industry as controlled by Republican investments. Cheney & Bush were both oil men. I would not be surprised if the GOP was manipulating the price of oil and blaming it on Obama to get him out of office, no matter how much the average citizen gets hurt or what it does to the job market. They can always blame the results on the Whitehouse.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  72. Jeff O

    This country hasn't built a new refinery in over 25 years... Thank you EPA and NIMBY's. On top of that, weren't we exporting gasoline just a few months ago?
    Also, I'd be willing to bet that some on here that say Obama is not to blame are the same ones who blamed Bush about the same thing during his term. NEITHER one is to blame, but the hypocrisy is classic.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  73. Tom Barrister

    Jack, anything that changes the fortunes of our country for the worse will hurt incumbents, President and Congress alike. It doesn't matter who's at fault. The party not in power will blame the party in power, and the public at large will believe it. This has been true for generations, and there's no reason to believe it will be change this year.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  74. Daniel

    It's just as you said Jack. It's purely speculation on Wall-Street that keeps the gas and oil high. Why blame Obama when you should be blaming the Republicans in Congress for siding with the oil giants. I don't see them saying, "Hey, get your hands out of my wallet at the pumps!" If the GOP-controlled Congress would stick up for America instead of the wealthy corporations and big oil. Then, gas prices wouldn't be so high right now. Look at the house back in 2009, compared to right now. Since the republicans took control of the house, thanks to the Tea-party. Look how gas and oil has went back up. If it's blame, blame the republicans, Jack!

    February 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  75. Pat McGehee

    Everyone is ready to blame Obama if they run out of toilet paper. Blame, Blame Blame. Blame the oil companies for their relentless gouging of the american public and their incredible amazing soaring profits. Outrageous!!! Occupy the oil companies!!

    February 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  76. Don

    Jack, Unless oil companies have made a 180 degrees and turned democrat, gas price hikes should hurt republicans whose threatening motto is "drill baby drill, or else".

    February 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  77. Dary

    It won't hurt him at all Jack, if Romney, Gingrich or Santorum is the Republican nominee.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  78. John Goodman

    Gas should be at $5.00 a gallon. If it doesn't get there on its own the gas tax should be increased to force the price there. It is the only way our nation will take the energy crisis seriously.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  79. Gilbrando from South Texas

    Jack, of course it will effect the President, we have one leader in our Country, lead, follow or get out of the way.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  80. Jeff O

    John... it won't work. Once people get used to paying it, they will move on. Just like they did at $2, $3, and $4 a gallon.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  81. Brian Wickremasinghe - Woodland Hills

    Some people might blame him. He can divert blame by taking action to remove all the "Sweet Heart Deals" that the gas companies are enjoying. Inform the people with continuous ads in the news media.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  82. Tom from Virginia

    At least one third of the voters will insist that gas prices are someone else's fault. The buck stops somewhere else with this president.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  83. Tim

    If the gas companies make record profits (again) as a result, then yes, there will certainly be a fan in need of a good cleaning.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  84. Rob

    Maybe in some parts of the US. I doubt it. It is so upseting to hear this when the pipeline decision from Obama was postponed. Not enough time to review was Obama's issue. There have been reviews since Bush was in office so he has no leg to stand on there. If the US bought all of its oil from Canada, Canada can supply the entier US marked for 50 years. So lets get it going already! That is without a drop from the Gulf or North Dakoda.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  85. citizen

    How do you blame the president for fuel prices?
    Isn't that what the left used against Bush?

    February 14, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  86. Steve in Canada

    Jack, we already pay 5$ a gallon in Canada, but we have a bigger gallon (Imperial). Do Americans know what gas prices are elsewhere in the world? Its world demand that sets the price, get used to it and sell the gas guzzler.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  87. Beth

    Come on Jack. This story has been repeated every spring for years! Can't we come up with a new topic?

    February 14, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  88. Wes

    I think it will hurt him a lot Jack, if the president would have passed the Keystone pipeline project I think it would have helped gas prices. But with the possibility of a military altercation with Iran and the no go on the pipeline and all the chaos in the middle east this has only helped gas prices increase. If Obama really wanted energy independence in America I think he would have found some way to get that pipeline approved.

    from: Virginia

    February 14, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  89. Montana Mike

    Not a bad campaign strategy for the GOP and the oil industry. Make millions by jacking up gas prices while increasing chances of getting Obama out of office. Not the honest way to do things.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  90. Larry

    Not at all if people understand what he has done already. He had said that he was not going to allow price gouging. Prior to that stand stations were selling it for just about $1 more per gallon than what the open market(wholesale) was charging. Since then it has dropped to about 45 cents to 50 cents more per gallon. The drivers of the price of gas is still Wallstreet. We can have oil coming out of our faucets, the price will stay high because of speculation.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  91. tiago

    None. We all know we, the short term memory loss citizens are to blame. Let the "Free market" take its toll. Just imagine how many construction jobs would have been created if we actually raised the gas tax when it was $1.79. Now gas goes up anyways and we still have horrible roads. When will we learn?

    February 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  92. Will S

    It doesn't matter who the president is, the average American person will quickly point the finger at the man in charge. He can't control every factor in our country. He can only try to fix it. People need to realize that he can't walk on water, or part the sea. He doesn't control the gas prices. But they can't settle for that. Because of the irrational thinking of the average American person, they will blame President Obama, and thus wrongly hurt him for his re-election. I don't think it will be a big factor, but it will be something that will be on the voter's mind nonetheless.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  93. renae h in jonesboro, ar

    Gas prices were 3.99 the summer before Obama took office in in J'boro. It dropped momentarily to $1.79 after flirting with $4 a gallon for quite a while during the Bush administration. I wouldn't blame the president one bit because I know he's not to blame. The greedy executives are the culprits.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  94. JIM M

    US gas prices are the cheapest in the World, except for the OPEC countries. Surely no one can seriously suggest that the US President has so much influence in the World that he can, single-handedly, lower my gas costs. Not even the current panel of Republican Presidential wanna-be hopefuls can be that narrow-minded and biased. Dear POTUS...I live in Canada, Please cut my gas costs in half.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  95. Bill in Arizona

    I don't know if it will but it should. If the strategic reserves were made available and the fees for oil speculation were doubled and the fuel taxes were temporarily suspended this would all be a non issue. The presidents failure to act to protect us from this true economic hardship would seem criminal to me.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  96. Emily Drummond

    Until the Americans pay as much for gasoline as Europeans do, they need to quit whining....Most European countries pay close to $8.00 a gallon – even Japan pays more than the USA – over $4.00 a gallon.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  97. Big Al

    Gas won't hit $5/gal because companies won't let it. People will stop driving except for necessary trips and they will not make as much money. The U.S. is now a net exporter of gasoline, so why are the prices going up?

    February 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  98. Kerry

    The President is not responsible for gas prices. Drilling for natural gas isn't going to change that, just hurt the environment even more than they have already. Not selling my mineral right sin Texas. Period!

    February 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  99. mike vanyo

    it probably will hurt becase the majority of the american public do not have the intelligence to know he has nothing to do with the price of gasoline.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  100. Jim

    Also Jack, you of all people know that wall street dictates the price of gas more than anyone.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  101. john maola

    Does not matter. Prices for gas in red states are always lower than blue states. The blue will vote for him even if it hits $10. a gallon

    February 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  102. jerrycc

    Like last time the democrats will blame it on Bush.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  103. Digler

    Perhaps if we put any effort into our public transit this wouldn't be so much of a problem.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  104. Clelia Solorzano

    We can not blame Presidente Obama, Presidents can't control gasolina prices. I have observed that you like to blame Presidente Obama for everything.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  105. Jeff O

    Oil and gas prices are connected naturally, but not as absolute as people think.
    Gas price changes have more to do with lack of refinery capacity, delivery issues (hurricanes, etc) ,and seasonal grades than anything else.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  106. Blake in North Port

    Jack ... you usually create welcome controversy, but we need to remember that President Bush was there for the last $4 plus gas. No one – not even staunch repubicans want to admit that. The recession he allowed to happen forced the collapse of oil prices that President Obama inherited. The price of crude has been hovering at $100 for over a year. You cannot blame closure of refineries ... The US now exports 20% of their own refined oil – so more refineries is not the issue. We need to understand the clear story and understand world markets and speculators.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  107. Jud

    Yes we should go after the biggest companies and tax them to death. Especially the biggest one wiht a Market Capitalization of $475Billion! and a Net Profit margin of 23%!! they earned $26 Billion in Profits last year and are sitting on something like $100 Billion in Cash!!! It's terrible!

    Yes we should put a windfall profits tax on ........ APPLE! They are bigger than Exxon who only makes a net profit margin of 8%.... look it up on CNN if you don't belive me.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  108. QL Richardson

    The question is if Mitt or Newt were in office what would he do to keep the price of gas from rising? We could do (whatever that may be) and the President should do fine. If it fails, blame the Republicans.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  109. Jim McMillan

    Your facts do not include the fact that the average price was $4.12/gal in May of 2008. The big drop to $1.65/gal in Jan of 09 was due to the economic collapse, and folks just weren't buying gas. So even of gas goes to $5.00/gal this summer, it will only be 21% higher than the highest during the previous administration.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  110. Edward Sullivan

    While any President has very little contril over the world wide cost of oil, Obama will be hurt by this if the price of gas goes way up. On the other hand, he should get infront of this issue by pushing legislation to rein in the oil speculators who are the primary culprits of this problem. The public would give him credit for this and by going after the speculators he might be able to keep the gas price spike down to a lower level then it otherwise would have been.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  111. Carl from Ontario

    We are paying $5.75 per gallon right now in Ontario. It is not the middle east that is holding us hostage to oil prices, it is the oild companies. They control the supply thus the price as well. Not to mention the huge taxes on top!

    February 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  112. Bent Frederiksen

    Jack, you forgot one very important element...speculation. When Wall Street crashed in August of 2008, speculators including Hedge Funds had pushed up oil prices to a record high of $150.00 a barrel and when Wall Street crashed, speculators pulled out their money in futures making oil fall to under $30.00 a barrel by the end of December 2008. Maybe its time to regulate the speculators so they do not push up oil prices to artificial highs as we saw in 2008

    February 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  113. Regan Democrat

    No one seems to remember when Obama slammed Bush when he was running for President in 2008 for high gas prices! He said the prices were so high because Bush did not have an energy plan. Where is your energy plan Obama??

    February 14, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  114. Martin in Menlo Park

    Jack, you should mention that gasoline is our number one export and that it is a factor in rising gas prices.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  115. Dennis

    This President has been doing everything to make Green Energy comparable to petro energy. The price is doing exactly what he wants. Make Oil as expensive as Green and Green becomes viable. Without market manipulation Green Energy never makes sense. Instead of forcing Alternative Energy to compete he chooses to make us all pay via higher energy costs. Green Energy only makes sense when it is forced into the market by competition. Example only the higher income people can afford the Volt or Tesla and making the rest of us get buried by higher oil prices.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  116. Cee.Louisiana

    Jack as far as I am concerned it wont hurt him, last i checked the POTUS does,nt set gas prices.....supply and demand .

    February 14, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  117. David

    We needed leadership the last 5 years to have an had affect on the price of oil and fuel. We do not have leadership today so quit complaining and pay up we are the ones that put them in office.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  118. Marcus Toney, Dothan, Al

    It's all in the scheme by BIG business and their republican backers and supporters to stop the economy from growing. It will not work. Nothing they do will work. Obama will be elected by their gimmicks. Everthing they do to tear him discredit him will only build him up. So sorry.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  119. Jyothi, St.Louis,MO

    We don't even need to think in that direction because gas prices will go down just in time for November increasing Obama's chances of getting re-elected !

    February 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  120. Eric Davisson

    Considering that the lower and middle class put Obama in office, and the price of gasoline affects the lower and middle class more....It's not rocket science. Obama still holds out hope that oil dependence will just go away....if gas prices go high enough, they will buy those crappy electric powered cars. I've voted Democrat since 1976. I voted for Obama, I will not vote Obama this time around (Minooka,IL)

    February 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  121. lisa, N.J.

    Some people think that high oil prices kept us in the recession longer than anticipated. If high oil prices slow the economy that it could effect the Presidential election.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  122. Mike in Pekin

    Jack, it certainly can't help. However, given all of the other problems he has had (like increasing the National Debt by over 50% in 4 years, and failing to implement a budget during his entire time in office), I think the gas price issue is only going to be one more piece on the pile. On the other hand, the GOP candidates seem to be doing their best to get him elected by tearing each other apart bit by bit.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  123. Dell

    Why should it hurt the President's chances to be re-elected? It should hurt every Republican who is riding in comfort in Big Oils pocket. But it won't, since the President won't drill baby drill, Big Oil says raise the prices until we (big oil, since they are now considered people) can get someone in office that will give us more money to drill baby drill. Then we can make even more money from the new oil and additional government subsidies and still not lower fuel prices. I'm stocking up on canned goods and toilet paper for my bunker when this country goes to pot because it is controled by corporations.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  124. BL in CT

    I heard Geitner on a talking head show say the Obama team wanted to change how Americans used energy. $4 and $5 gas will do that. That's what they want.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  125. Buzz Killington

    Although factually accurate to say that gas prices were $1.79 under Obama, I think it is pretty obvious that those prices were ridiculously low and were never going to stay there. We all got a temporary reprieve from high gas, but obviously the sitting President has no way to control the price of gas. People can blame all they want, but I for one am glad we at least got 2 years of lower priced gas. It could have been $4 this whole time.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  126. TERRY, Naples

    It will not hurt at all. It is not his fault

    February 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  127. Robert W. North Carolina

    I predicted before the last election that things would get better econimically by the end of 4 years and it looks like I was wrong. No big deal I'm an armchair economist. If crude prices climb which I think started this economic skid in the first place, Obama might well be blamed for the decline as Bush was in 2008. It may hurt him whether it is his fault or not. Look at Bill Clinton, lied to the public but untouchable because the economy was so good. I think it works both ways.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  128. Bob

    Where is the news about the #1 US Export - Fuel, which includes gasoline. We get what we put up with

    February 14, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  129. Daniel

    Jack, like the electric company, if we only use 1 gallon of gas a week or 1 kilowatt hr a month we would still pay $40 to fill up and $400 a month to heat our homes... just more of the big guys getting more to do less... nothing to do with whos in office and everything to do with non regulation.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  130. Kris from Dumfries, VA

    I think it's a sad state of affairs when I just finally got around to buying a 2008 Hybrid car, and there is a possibility of gas prices going up so high that it will make it seem as if I'm still driving a 6 cylinder gas guzzler. Oil companies and speculators should be ashamed of themselves. They make profits quarter over quarter and never pass on any of the wealth that they gain to the people that give them the money in the first place. Sadly, I think that even if we all switched to electric cars we would end up with the same problem with Electric Companies. They would see a chance to take advantage of the people and jump on it without a single thought for the pain they would cause to working families.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  131. Jennifer M in Winnipeg

    I don't know what it will do for Mr. Obama, but I wish our gas was as cheap. We buy gas by the litre and there are 4 litres in 1 of your gallons. Right now we pay $1.14 a litre ... $4.56 a U.S. gallon.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  132. Bob

    Voters will remember the drilling moratorium in the gulf and failure to approve the pipeline among other things this president has done to drive up the price of gasoline. Even though there's a push for electric powered cars, truth of the matter is that most of us drive gasoline powered cars. If prices go way up, voters will remember, and if we forget, the Republican candidate will remind us.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  133. Michael

    First of all, blaming a sitting president for gasoline prices is just dumb. The problem that too many people ignore is that we site on about 3% of the world's oil reserves but gobble up about 25% of the world's oil. The only thing any sitting president can do is to put policies in place that attack the 25% number...which I believe this president has tried to do. Secondly, we bought a Prius in '05 so fluctuations just don't hit us that hard. Maybe if more people bought with the future price of gas in mind it wouldn't be such a big deal for them, either. I'm tired of people whining because they made a stupid buying decision when it came time to buy a car.....just sounds like entitlement to me (they're entitled to cheap gas so they buy stupid cars).

    February 14, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  134. Terri from East TN

    As the company profits surge proving capitalism is working for them, perhaps people will realize that the name calling that has been leveled at the President is not deserved. He is simply like those who came before him.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  135. Joe

    Well to prevent being blamed for high gas prices with articles like this, Obama should create an executive order for all all Wall Street paper oil buyers to take delivery of their oil. The price for a barrel of oil will then drop to its true demand. That is $50 – $60 per barrel with gasoline dropping back to $2/gallon.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  136. John B Cape Coral Fl

    5 dollar a gallon gas to me means we should be spending more on green energy. I'll take Obama and his green policies vs the Republican war machine any day.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  137. John in Chicago

    It might be $5 a gallon in Chicago by late May. But it could go to $10 if Israel, USA and Iran have all out war rather than having a sit down beer peace conference at the White House.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  138. Jeff

    Why do I have to pay more for diesel fuel while it is cheaper to produce? If gas prices reach $5 per gallon I will be paying $5.50-$5.75 per gallon. I better check into bio-diesel

    February 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  139. Nelson Burack

    Why aren't any of the Republican candidates, or Obama, addressing this issue. Nobody seems to care!

    Nelson Burack, Melville, NY

    February 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  140. ACJ

    I hope it goes to $5. It will push more people toward an alternative form of energy, hopefully energy that is clean and produced in the USA!!

    February 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  141. fred

    Just as you blamed Bush when the prices went up in 06.

    February 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  142. Lance in tx

    Obama is to blame and it should be considered during the election. He has been clear in his agenda to raise fuel prices and force us to green energy. His policies and actions demonstrate that. If you agree, then vote for him. If you think the resulting inflation on all products because of high gas prices is the wrong route, vote for the eventual repub nominee. Just don't be naive and think he is not to blame.

    February 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  143. Sue

    If Obama's up against Gingrich or Santorum, his re-election chances are very good regardless of gas prices.

    February 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm |