Americans are not happy with Obama over gas prices

The recent hike in gas prices has been one of the major issues in the 2012 presidential campaign. More than two-thirds of Americans are not happy with the way President Obama is handling the gas crisis, although they do not blame him for the hike. According to the Reuters/Ipsos online poll released on Tuesday, 68% disapprove and 24% approve of Obama response to the gasoline issue.

The U.S fuel prices have gone up from $0.03 per gallon to $3.90 in the past month and the Republicans have seized this opportunity to attack Obama’s energy policies. The disapproval has spread across party lines which might impact the upcoming election. Although the survey shows that the voters hold oil companies and foreign countries more accountable than politicians for the price hike. According to the online poll of 606 Americans conducted on March 26-27 with a credibility interval of plus or minus 4.6% points for all respondents, 89% Republicans said they disapproved along with 52% democrats and 73% independents.

The most common reason cited by the people of different political backgrounds for the cost hike was oil company greed. 36% believed that oil companies which want to make too much profit are responsible for the high energy prices. 28% Republicans, 44% Democrats and 32% Independents agreed with the above view. 26% of the respondents said that a number of factors are at play which has led to the price hike such as oil companies, politicians, foreign countries that dominate oil reserves and environmentalists who limit oil exploration. 27% of the Republicans, 24% of Democrats and 32% of Independents agreed that all the above mentioned factors were equally to blame.

However, the Republicans are particularly miffed with Obama’s decision to block Trans-Canada Corp.’s Keystone XL Canada-to-Texas pipeline, the reason being that Obama’s energy priorities are hurting America. Obama, in a bid to placate car-loving Americans, toured U.S oil country last week to tout his energy strategy which includes oil and gas development in addition to the support for renewable fuels. In Oklahoma he promised to accelerate the southern leg of the Keystone pipeline but the Republicans immediately dismissed this as a stunt saying the Obama does not have the authority to jumpstart the project.

According to the historic trends Obama has little to fear as previous spikes in fuel prices have not affected the election results but the economists warn that a hike in fuel prices may slow down the overall economy which would mean that Obama’s chances of a re-election could be tough.

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