Poll: blame for rising gas prices

President Obama is singled out by almost one in five people as the person most to blame for rising gas prices. But slightly more people say they don’t know who to blame for spiking prices in a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll.

The average national price for a gallon of gas has risen to $3.72 according to government surveys. While about a quarter say they are unsure who to blame — up 10 percentage points from a 2006 Pew poll — there are still plenty of places to point the finger.

About one in seven blame oil companies and just over one in 10 blame problems in the Middle East. The list extends to financial speculators, the government generally and Congress specifically and rising world demand, among other things.

A small handful of people still blame President Bush, out of office for three years. That punctuates the sharply partisan nature of the blame game. A third of Republicans call out Obama, as do 20 percent of independents. Only 5 percent of Democrats do so. They blame big oil and problems in the Middle East about equally.

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Peyton M. Craighill is polling manager for the Washington Post. Peyton reports and conducts national and regional news polls for the Washington Post, with a focus on politics, elections and other social and economic issues.

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