Even as the U.S. economy continues to add jobs at a healthy clip — 227,000 in February — Americans still have a dim view of Obama when it comes to the economy. Why? Two words: gas prices.
A Washington Post-ABC News survey released today found that a majority of Americans — 59% — disapproved of the president’s handling of the economy. Fifty percent of Americans strongly disapproved.
Sixty-five percent of poll respondents found Obama’s handling of gas prices to be unsatisfactory. This included 52% who disapproved strongly, with only 14% strongly approving of his handling of gas prices.
Obama has been aggressive in attacking the perception that a president can affect gas prices, saying in several speeches and interviews that oil prices are set internationally, that the U.S. has increased its own oil production, and that calls to drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or build the Keystone XL Pipeline are not panaceas. Unfortunately for Obama, these pleas have thus far fallen on deaf ears.
The average price for a gallon of gasoline today was $3.83 a gallon, up four cents from last week and 26 cents from a year ago. This is the highest price that gasoline has reached, according to data collected since 1990.
Rising gas prices have replaced the federal budget deficit as Obama’s weakest issue in these polls.
– Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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