The Fix: gas prices

Rising economic optimism vs. gas prices

If not for rising gas prices, the economy might be an asset rather than a liability for President Obama’s reelection campaign.

After three-plus long years of gloomy economic news, Americans are starting to see light around the corner. Recent polling from the Washington Post-ABC News and Fox News shows slightly more Americans think that Obama has been good for the economy rather than bad.
President Obama speaks about energy Thursday at Prince George's Community College in Largo, Md. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

And about the only thing getting in the way is how much they are paying at the pump.

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Rising gas prices equal trouble for Democrats and Obama, history shows

The president’s party has lost control of the presidency in three of the last four elections in which gas prices have risen significantly during his time in office .

And over the last 36 years, the president’s party has never made significant gains in Congress in an election year in which the price of gas rose significantly. More often than not, it has lost double-digit seats.

Those cold, hard facts are staring Democrats in the face as rising gas prices continue to color their hopes for reelecting President Obama, retaking the House and keeping control of the Senate.

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Gas prices are no silver bullet for GOP

As the economy shows some signs of progress — which are good for President Obama, no doubt — Republicans have turned to gas prices as their silver bullet.
Gas prices are posted at the Sunoco gas station Friday, Feb. 24, 2012 in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

They’ve got their work cut out for them.

While Americans have been more than happy to question Obama’s stewardship of the economy during the bad times, the vast majority aren’t clamoring to blame him for continually high fuel prices.

According to a new Pew Research Center/Washington Post poll, fewer than one in five Americans volunteer Obama’s name when asked whom they blame for high gas prices.

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