62% of Americans disapprove of Obama on gas prices
While it’s true that President Barack Obama saw a marginal bump in his approval ratings last month, the issue of gas prices continues to hang over his head. Obama has finally decided to approve part of the Keystone XL pipeline, but outside of that small step his response to rising gas prices has been lip-service and to wage rhetorical warfare on oil companies.
Obama may think that these tactics are going to appease voters, but according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, Americans are starting to notice his inaction as gas prices hit their wallets hard:
A third of all Americans say surging gasoline prices have caused serious financial hardship in their households, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, with more than six in 10 reporting some pinch.
President Obama continues to be harshly reviewed for his handling of the situation, even as he eludes some of the direct blame.
Feelings of hardship and public judgment on the president are little changed over the past month, despite continually rising prices, suggesting some may be accommodating themselves to higher pump prices. The Department of Energy reports that over the past four weeks, the average price of a gallon has risen 11 cents to $3.94 across the country.
The political angle on gas prices extends beyond hardship to where people place blame. Obama is taking a beating in public opinion on his dealings with gas prices. Just 28 percent approve of the job he is doing in this area; 62 percent disapprove, with half saying they disapprove “strongly.” Those are among the worst ratings on any issue during his presidency.
As many Democrats strongly disapprove as strongly approve of Obama’s handling of the situation.
Obama likes to talk about how we’re seeing more oil produced domestically, but this isn’t because of any action his administration has taken. They’re are merely able to take credit for the policies of his predecessor. One way you can tell that Obama is largely sitting idly by, according to Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute, is that oil production on federal lands has been flat and natural gas production from federal lands has been on a noticable decline.
As gas prices continue to rise, eclipsing $4 per gallon and perhaps even moving close to $5 in the summer, more Americans will notice, and they will largely blame Obama’s consistent inaction and refusal to get behind an energy policy that will both open up the United States’ reserves and create jobs.