The Republican strategy of using gas prices against Obama took a hit today as a Suffolk University poll found that only 25% of respondents believe Obama has a lot of influence on gas prices.
When the Suffolk University poll asked likely voters how much influence the president has on gas prices, the results were not good news for the Republicans. Twenty five percent said that the president has a lot of influence on gas prices. (Hello, Fox News viewers). Twenty seven percent said the president has some influence over gas prices. Another twenty seven percent has a little influence on gas prices, and nineteen percent said the president has no influence on gas prices. Two percent of respondents were undecided.
Republicans have spent the last few weeks trying to blame President Obama for the high price of gas. After his victory in the Illinois primary, Mitt Romney said, “After the years of too many apologies and not enough jobs, historic drops in income and historic highs in gas prices, of a President who doesn’t hesitate to use all means necessary to force Obamacare on the American public but leads from behind in world affairs, it’s time to say, ‘Enough!’”
The problem for Republicans is that back in 2008, they were telling America that the president isn’t to blame for gas prices.
Here is how Fox News covered the last big spike in gas prices in 2008:
In 2008, the right was telling the American people to conserve energy, and that then President Bush doesn’t set the price of gas. It is side splittingly hysterical to hear Fox News argue for conservation, tell people to get rid of their gas guzzlers, use more mass transit and less oil.
The Republican attempt to use gas prices against Obama in 2012 is being undermined by the messaging that they used in 2008 to defend George W. Bush. The American people aren’t buying that President Obama is responsible for the increase in gas prices, because back in 2008 the right told them that the president isn’t responsible for gas prices.
This is especially bad news for Mitt Romney, who has dutifully added a segment to his daily stump speech that blames President Obama for the rising gas prices. Even worse news for Romney is that even as the price of gas has gone up, President Obama’s approval rating has risen to 52%, and he now holds a 10 point lead over his likely Republican challenger.
The American people aren’t as dumb as the Republican Party thinks they are. No matter how bad Republicans might want them to, they aren’t going to vote President Obama out of office because of the price of gas.
The GOP better start drilling for another issue, because the gas prices well has just come up empty.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association