Political realities and gas prices
April 23rd, 2011
04:41 PM ET

Political realities and gas prices

By CNN Political Coverage Manager Steve Brusk

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama confronted two political realities this week:

– Rising gas prices are bad for a politician's poll numbers.

– There is almost nothing a politician can do about it, at least in the short run.

The national average for gas rose another eight-tenths of a cent in the last 24 hours, to $3.856 a gallon, according to AAA. That's the 32nd consecutive day with an increase. Prices have risen nearly 31 cents a gallon during that streak, or nearly 9 percent.

And during that same period, Obama has seen his approval ratings slide and an increase in Americans who say the country is heading in the wrong direction. The latest CNN Poll of Polls out Friday put the president's approval rating at 45 percent, with his disapproval number up to 52 percent.  That's his lowest approval rating of 2011. (In contrast, 52 percent of Americans approved of the job he was doing in mid-January).

For the full story, go to CNN's Political Ticker.

Topics: Poll • President Obama

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Patriotson

    Obama has had two years to formulate a domestic energy policy. So far, we have a failed sun and wind and the latter is pretty much the center of what the American people have gotten from him.
    The best he could do in the Gulf of Mexico was to shut down 30% of the domestic energy supply of the United States; prevent any coal mining permits from being issued and tell people we need to invest in alternative energy which is not science proven to be capable of supply nearly enough energy for the demand we have. So here we sit, no energy policy; an American dollar whose value is declining because of the national debt and undisciplined congressional and Obama spending and all Obama can say is "there is no silver bullet to fix the problem." I say there is. Vote the incompentent out of office in 2012, if we are still in existance.

    April 23, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • john

      It's all Bush's fault.

      April 26, 2011 at 6:08 am |
      • Annie

        i think ur right ITS ALL BUSHES FAULT

        April 28, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • grif99999

      BO is creating jobs. Unfortunately, they are in South America. They are expanding their drilling for oil there and we are helping to subsidize them.

      April 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • gale

      have you forgotten that the republicans have said no to every bill that president Obama and the democrats have tried to pass to help get this econamy back ojn track. How can he getanything done when we have a congress that will not work together! it is not possible. If you understand how government works, the President can only do what congress will allow him to do!. so quit blaming our President, he is the best to handle the mess the repuiblicans and bush left us in. and by the way doesn't it seem strange that all of a sudden our gas prices are jumping twenty cents every week since the republicans won the majority in the house. think about that for a while!!

      April 27, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • michael daniels

      so I guess what all of you are saying is that two years is good enough to make things happen after 8 years of failed policies.

      April 29, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  2. Marc

    I wish we had a strong leader who can lead us effectively. So far I am yet to see any leadership traits in Obama. He is a great orator, but I wonder if his speaking skills are blinding the masses to his true capabilities. I doubt he will be able to solve the problem of gas prices besides saying the obvious (with expansive words from Thesaurus)!

    April 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm |

    There is a short [and intermediate] term solution!
    Saudi Arabia recently announced cutting oil production because there is no present shortage of oil. [Perhaps after consulting with Saudi Arabia re desired stable price:]
    Just announce that we are planning or going to start selling oil from the strategic reserve at prices below spot and going down to $100 or possibly less per barrel. This will immediately drive the spot and futures market price to near or below this level.

    April 23, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • grif99999

      Bush approved permits for domestic drilling and released some of the strategic reserve. Oil prices dropped right away. BO says there is nothing he can do.

      April 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  4. Jay in NC

    Remember when Clinton pointed at us like this? Then Hilly-bob claimed it was ll a right-winged conspiracy.

    Point your finger the other way Barry, you are the one that blamed President Bush for the high gas prices, said you were so darn smart and would do a better job. The world needs more than hope and change, we need action. Oh, wait, time for another date night and start a war. I'll work on the economy during my second term.

    April 24, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  5. Tol Trunks

    Do not worry about profit to much longer. You have until August 15th until industry ends. Let the US and Toyko stock exchanges be informed. Do not take the mark of the beast. Profit is near an end. 2-3-2012.

    April 24, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  6. JP

    Dump Obama. He promised windfall taxation to Oil Companies, and he could not deliver. He refuses to tap in to strategic oil reserve to be a political victim. And he asks us the people to pay for it, becase he can't deliver. No he could not, so why "yes, we can" again in 2012. Dump Obama. He is not working out for us the tax payers. We need a progressive jerk to counter tea party agenda.

    April 25, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  7. Matt

    Under Big Bad Evil Bush gas only went up 7% and we drilled looking for more. Under Super Smart Elite Obama gas prices have gone up 67%, the media like CNN and other cheerleaders give him a pass on this and we don't drill anymore.

    One day soon CNN America will hold you accountable for your actions.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  8. James

    Obama doesn't give a flip about what we pay for gas. He doesn't drive and could care less. He probably woke up last week when one of his dummy staff members told him his wife had to pay $4.00 for a gallon of gas.

    April 26, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  9. James

    Lord–I wish Obama would something Presidential–Just once–

    April 26, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  10. HHI

    Both of these current political groups seem to stand around working on nothing other then to get re-elected. All the focus seems to be on trouble around the globe while our own house burns....hyper inflation record numbers depending on the Feds for their income...anyone see a problem here?

    April 27, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  11. HHI

    Hyper inflation is next I wonder if the American voter will awaken then.?

    April 27, 2011 at 9:03 am |
  12. Dee Yung

    Obama is leading a scam. America is in trouble. Things must change.
    Listen to me speak on it in my video.
    "The analogy of War in The Heavens & War in America"

    April 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  13. Hans Butenschon

    Funny how americans love to pay my pension. As a Norwegian living in the US, I only see very cheap gas and lots of inefficient engines. Most europeans pay 9 dollars per gallon, but travel 60 % further, due to more efficient cars. So, for each mile John Plumber drives his 5.3 litre engine, I get richer (see http://www.nbim.com for the value of our oil-financed pension fund). John Plumber also pays the Arabs. You want to do something patriotic for the US? Accept a one-dollar tax per gallon, give the tax back to the consumers (e.g. support shift to four-cylinder US-built engines), you would lower oil consumption and drive equal distance at the same cost – reducing national debt and helping the US car industry, and keep more of the dollars here in the US, where they belong. And still, petrol would be dead cheap over here!

    April 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  14. Bruce

    Matt–don't know where you got your info on gas prices but the info is wrong...progably got it from Limpbaugh at EIB. The Energy Information Agency reports that when Big Bad Bush took office regular gas prices averaged 1.33/gal...it peaked at 4.23/gal during his reign. As the decider, he did nothing about it. The prices eventually went back down on their own.

    April 27, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  15. USwatcher

    Mr.Prez needs to step up to the plate soon...meanwhile,we get outlandish statements like Exxon saying they make relatively little money(11 billon dollars quarterly profit).Relative to what? The oil barrons of Saudia Arabia? You can all shove your pump! Greedy,Greedy,Greedy.

    April 28, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  16. Oscar

    I love how much you are compleinning, but to honest with you people, you dessert the goverment you had!!!!!!!! jejejejejeje.

    April 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  17. tready

    BP made 7.2 billion in profits in the last 3 months, chevron and the big oil comoanys are making great profits. I just saw a politician on the news saying the economy is picking up, and everything is getting better.I guess greed is up, and middle class is down right now..............

    April 29, 2011 at 1:45 pm |