Connect to share and comment

Rising gas prices may harm Obama's re-election chances

Gas prices have jumped 29 cents since December, potentially affecting Obama's campaign.

Gas prices obama 2011 3 2Enlarge
Gas prices climb to the $5 mark at a Shell station in California in 2008. (David McNew/AFP/Getty Images)

In some parts of the country, gas prices have crossed the $4-a-gallon threshold and the national average has jumped 29 cents per gallon since December.

The New York Times reported that this is causing some concern for President Barack Obama's advisers who worry about the GOP using consumer angst to condemn his energy programs. 

According to the Boston Herald, Obama's approval ratings have climbed steadily since last year's debt-ceiling debacle. Last week, according to a Gallup poll, his approval was at 47 percent, the highest it's been since June 2011.  

Can the price of gasoline damage that? Republicans believe that it will.  

According to The Times, House Speaker John Boehner reportedly urged GOP House members to make gas prices an issue on the campaign trail this fall during a closed door meeting Monday.

Last week, Newt Gingrich, GOP presidential hopeful, wrote on Twitter that “gasoline prices are unacceptable. We can do better!”

He wants prices back down to $2.50 a gallon. “Drill here. Drill now. Pay less,” his petition said.

But Tom Kloza, the chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service, is predicting the national average of gas to hit $4 to $4.25 per gallon by April. 

Iran’s recent warnings of a disruption in the global oil trade have pushed the price of a barrel of domestic oil to more than $103, which is the highest it's been in six months. That has helped drive the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States to $3.52, a 30-cent increase in the past two months, and it's expected to go up from there.  

More from GlobalPost: Oil hits 8 month high as Iran halts exports

Obama aides told The Times that the president will deflect Republican criticism by highlighting his administration’s efforts to promote fuel efficient cars and develop new areas of oil and natural gas production, like expanding oil exploration in Arctic waters.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120221/rising-gas-prices-may-harm-obama-campaign