Poll: Concern over gas prices on the rise; could hurt Obama, Congress in fall

Concern over the price of fuel has taken on an increasingly important role in the campaign cycle, and a new poll shows 65 percent of Americans hold President Obama and Congress responsible for rising gas prices.

A majority of both Republicans and Democrats said they believe Obama and Congress can “do things to keep price of gas from rising,” according to a new poll by Gallup.

Republicans and GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich are banking on a level of discontent about gas prices by blaming Obama for, among other things, not approving the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline that they say would help supply U.S. demand for fuel.

Thirty-one percent surveyed said they believe the rising price of gas is “largely beyond their control.” But 85 percent of those surveyed pushed for Obama and Congress to take some immediate action to control the rising price of gas, indicating a high level of concern.

“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that consumers aren’t hurt by [gas prices],” Obama said at a press conference on Tuesday. He scoffed at the idea that any president running for reelection would want gas prices to go up.

Gingrich, who is running his presidential campaign on a goal of $2.50-per-gallon gas, alleged Thursday night on Fox News that Obama wants gas prices to go down “only for the purposes of the election.” 

According to Gingrich, it is part of Obama’s energy “model” to use “very high prices to force people into electric cars and into other methods of propulsion.”

According to Gallup, Americans surveyed on average indicated that gas prices over $5.30 per gallon would force them to make “significant changes” in lifestyle.

The nationally conducted Gallup poll was taken by telephone on March 5 and 6. The margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.



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