Why gas prices affect presidential approval ratings

February 24, 2012

Feb. 24, 2012                Ken Bickers

Soaring gasoline prices at the pump could spell trouble for President Obama. According to CU-Boulder political science professor Ken Bickers, history has shown that gasoline prices can have a direct impact on presidential approval ratings.

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Why gas prices affect presidential approval ratings

Feb. 24, 2012                                                Ken Bickers

Soaring gasoline prices at the pump could spell trouble for President Obama. According to CU-Boulder political science professor Ken Bickers, history has shown that gasoline prices can have a direct impact on presidential approval ratings.

CUT 1 “One of the most important factors in approval ratings for the president is gasoline prices. It’s way important in terms of its predictive role in where a president’s approval ratings are. (:14) And this goes back to Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and every president since.” (:22)

Bickers says high gasoline prices can have an even more devastating impact on the president’s approval rating than unemployment levels.

CUT 2 “When gas prices go up, incumbents go down in their public approval ratings. Unemployment is a big deal too, but unemployment hits people who are unemployed and their families; gas prices hits absolutely everyone in the economy, directly and indirectly. (:16) And you can’t drive down the street without being reminded of what gas prices are because they are on every sign at every major intersection corner in every town in America.” (:27)

Right now gasoline prices average about $3.60 per gallon and experts say they may reach a record $4.25 by Memorial Day. Some economists predict prices will continue to rise through the summer driving season.

CUT 3 “If I were advising the president’s people I would be saying we’ve got to do something about gasoline prices right now because that’s really important in terms of approval of the president.” (:12)

People are already concerned. According to a new Associated Press-GfK poll seven in 10 people say they are concerned about high gasoline prices.

 

-CU-

 

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