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Is Obama Running Out of Gas?

Is Obama Running Out of Gas?

Newly released polls are showing that President Barack Obama may be looking at some tough times, despite the stronger economic picture.

According to ABC/Washington Post polling, Obama’s approval rating has dropped back down to 46 percent, and he now has a 50 percent disapproval rating.  He’s also beginning to fade in head to head match ups with GOP candidates, according to the same polling, now polling only three points ahead of former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and polling two points behind former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Why are Obama’s numbers heading south?  Pundits say it’s because of rising gas prices.  Greg Sargent writes, “Do gas prices explain the disparity? Eighty-nine percent say they’re concerned about them; 63 percent say gas prices have caused them financial hardship. Respondents say by 50-45 that there’s something the Obama administration can do to reduce gas prices. Obama’s approval on the issue is at an abysmal 26-65.”

But according to Wonkblog, the gas issue doesn’t need to alarm the administration too much, as long as it doesn’t impede the economic recovery. “It’s hard to rule anything out, but evidence is thin that gasoline will matter much come November. While Americans love to grumble about expensive gasoline — and with good reason — political science research suggests that they don’t usually vote over it. Nate Silver, for one, has found that ‘there’s not a lot of evidence that oil prices are all that important’ a factor in presidential elections.”

Republicans will try to use the issue to their advantage in the election, however, as we saw yesterday with Congressman Paul Ryan.  But in general, it appears that much like the prices themselves, the political issue of gas will wax and wain with little relation to the real world.

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5:03AM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

We have government of by and for large international corporations. This is what Occupy Wall Street with their slogan "We are the 99%" is complaining about. In a nation with any semblance of free trade, all markets are global, including petroleum and labor. U S military is trying very hard to go green--NOT because they believe in an ethic of sustainability, BUT because they realized that over half of their casualties were from enemy attacks on their supply lines. Solar panels, batteries, and the connections to charge those batteries from the solar panels, save the 70% of diesel that was going to generate electricity to run their communication equipment. A kit to grow algae and extract bio-diesel from it enables them to grow the fuel they need for much of the rest of their equipment right on base, cutting way down on the need to run supply lines. So the U S military's use of renewable energy saves the lives of many American soldiers by reducing their dependence on supply lines. The American civilian domestic economy would be much better off if we would concentrate on developing as much as possible sustainable domestic products to replace much of what we import. If we could depend less on imports, we would have less cause to fight with other nations over natural resources. Natural resources that we can neither grow sustainably as agricultural crops nor keep recycling within our own territory we especially need to develop sustainable replacements for. Over the next fiv

3:40PM PDT on Mar 16, 2012

Obama/Biden 2012! Vote Democratic all the way. The R's have gone crazy.

10:28AM PDT on Mar 15, 2012

When Obama gets rid of Joe Biden as VP, when he gets rid of the lobbiest from monsanto in his cabinet, when he refuses wall street money for re-election, when he stops weakening Social Security and calling it a tax cut, and on and on.
Then, I might vote for him again.

My vote won't be for Romney, nor Santorum, or Gingrich. I will vote for Ron Paul, the anti-noecon, anti-military industrial candidate, period. Let the chips fall where they may.

I hope the rest just self destruct with their lies, flipflops, and broken promises.

1:11AM PDT on Mar 15, 2012

If it were that SIMPLE to cut out the middle-men in U.S. & Foriegn Trade the Repuglicans could have done it! If drilling here in the U.S. would/could stabilize the country & we could sustain ourselves with our own supply of oil, produce, fabrics, technology, etc...., there would be absolutely NO need for Foriegn trade with any other countries. As far as back room deals, there are NO politicians who are completely/totally/openly transparent with every move or deal they make, "NONE!!!". If the Repuglicans would step forward into the 21st Century & get over their anger that, FINALLY A BLACK MAN, IS OUR PRESIDENT & A GOOD ONE AT THAT, we as Americans could/would see some incredible forward momentum!!!!!!!!!! I guess for some people Bigotry/Racism/Classism/ & Money will always reign Supreme!

1:00AM PDT on Mar 15, 2012

We have our own oil, drill it here, refine it here, use it here, cut out Saudi Arabia and any one else we are buying from, keep the money here and get this country back on track and stop all the goofing around and helping the world and not ourselves first.

12:57AM PDT on Mar 15, 2012

Obama is an idiot, he does nothing right in office, he has ruined this country over and over again. He changes his mind constantly and leads us into high unemployment, closes business, high gas prices and now high crime. Why this man has no brains at all. He does not remember what he has says, he lies all the time, he tells you what you want to hear and promises over and over again what he is going to do for 3 1/2 years and has accomplished nothing at all. Oh yah he has signed bills behind our backs, had meeting without "all" senators present, made crooked deals with the Mexican drug lords, has all crime and back alley gang type people as associates, has been called by Bin Laden (when he was alive of course) his "son", has crooked deals with Accorn (who has now changed their name to ????), should I go on?? Well if this does not tell you that he is totally out of control, can't even balance the budget, let alone know how to do anything but print money he needs, travel, party and help other countries (under the table, who are Muslims) so they can better themselves and take over our country with his help. He is a dictator "want to be" but will never make it and hopefully he will be put in jail for crimes against this country. To say he is doing something wrong------yes, all of the above and too many to mention here. May he not be in office in the next election and we get someone with brains to get our country back, jobs back, homes back and better economy back too.

4:11PM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

@Mike H
You add zip to general knowledge of speculation. A few comments:

I rambled? My post had a 650 character para describing the simplest form of speculation. Your post was 4,000 characters.

In my Southwest SCENARIO, SW made a single bet, that contracted purchase price would be less than market price. No hedge. Southwest made good bets – better than their competitors - early in the decade, poorer bets in 2009. You can’t imagine that some companies made better bets than others??

You exemplify hedging by investing in quite different vehicles, stocks/bonds. A horse race analog would be betting on more than one horse. This does not apply to Southwest which is interested only in fuel. Hedging now becomes a matter of getting both buy AND sell contracts for fuel.

One of your more hilarious comments was “The buyers don't own anything either”. No shit!!! Who would have thunk it. When I go to the grocery store, it’s ‘cos I want to buy groceries not to sell them. There is of course an exception in a complex hedging buy/sell scenario.

Speculation caused gas increase price? A refiner afraid of war, estimates 2013 crude price will be $140-160 vs $100 in 2012. They contract to buy at $150 beginning 1/1/2013 - a rather expensive insurance policy. You don’t think the price of gas they sell will increase even without war??? Obviously the deal would be much more complex but I do hope you understand the concept.

7:02AM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

It will be interesting to see the profits the oil companies are making as they try to put the blame on the President.

12:01AM PDT on Mar 14, 2012

Put more sanctions on Iran destroyed Libya you people will be paying much more for the Gas and the whole world suffers with the high cost of fuel

10:23PM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

It's also funny/sad that some of the "left wingers" blamed Pres. Bush because he "owned" the oil companies, but Pres. Obama has no control. Politics is a waste of time. Let's get another resource. Even Natural Gas is better, and we have it here in the U.S. Hating a politician gets hate in return, so let's have some ideas that may help. Thanks.

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Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
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