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ABC/Washington Post: Disapproval of Obama Handling of Gas Prices at 65%; Update: Salazar: President Feels Your Pain

By Doug Powers  •  March 12, 2012 02:43 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

This helps explain the abrupt moratorium on any mention of our algae-powered future in Saturday’s energy address:

(source: Washington Post)

President Obama’s Energy Secretary recently testified that his main focus is not to lower the price of gas but to decrease US dependence on oil. You’d think that those kinds of policies wouldn’t do much to endear people paying around $4 a gallon at the pump, and you’d be correct:

US President Barack Obama’s job approval rating, weighed down by soaring gas prices, has plunged below 50 per cent, giving his political opponents what appears to be an opening in the November election, a new opinion poll showed.

The survey by ABC News and The Washington Post indicated that only 46 per cent of Americans now approved of the way Obama is handling his job and 50 per cent disapproved.

The situation was a reversal from early February when 50 per cent approved of the president’s performance and 46 per cent disapproved.

According to the survey, the drop was attributed to soaring gas prices threatening to crimp America’s slow recovery from a recession.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts gasoline prices across the United States could average $4.25 (S$5.33) a gallon by May, up from over $3.60 (S$4.52) today.
The polls also found that 59 per cent of Americans had given Obama negative ratings on the economy, and 65 per cent disapproved of his handling of the gas price situation.

Additionally, misleading statements don’t seem to be having a positive effect on either the price of gas or the large disapproval number. Go figure.

Administration efforts to bring down the price of gas are underway. Those initiatives include accusing Republicans of waging war on women, discussions about tapping the strategic petroleum reserve, and accusing Republicans of waging war on women some more.

Something else that isn’t working is the ridiculing of Republicans calling for more domestic oil drilling:

A focus on “clean energy” and the theory that rising gas prices would force Americans to buy Volts is coming back to bite this administration (hoist by their own biodegradable, carbon-neutral, crony capitalist, Gore-approved petard), but they do appear to be trying to actively ward off events that might make the price go even higher before the election.

Update: Bring on the spinners:

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar took to the White House briefing room Monday to defend President Obama’s energy plan after a new poll suggested high gas prices are eroding the president’s approval numbers.

Salazar insisted that Obama is reviewing short- and long-term actions to lower gas prices, while also noting that there are no quick fixes to the problem.

“All options are on the table because the president obviously feels the pain that the American people are facing,” Salazar said when asked if the administration would tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a 696-million barrel emergency oil stockpile.

Monday’s briefing is a strong indication of the White House’s concern with high gas prices, which have emerged as a threat to the president’s reelection.

I’m not so sure Americans will necessarily believe that somebody who’s about to fire up Air Force One, several C-130’s and C-17’s along with countless heavy ground vehicles for the campaign season can relate to their pain at the gas pump.

Update II: The latest CBS/NYT poll puts Obama’s approval at a new low of 41%. Word is the Department of Energy’s next contest will be a sizable award to the company that can invent a car that runs on contraceptives.

Update III: Washington Post poll contradicts Washington Post narrative about female voters

(h/t Freedom’s Lighthouse)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Categories: 2012 Campaign, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Media