Tags: Gasoline | Prices | Obama | election

Falling Gasoline Prices Aren’t Seen Helping Obama

Thursday, 10 May 2012 07:57 AM

Gasoline prices may be falling but don't expect that to help President Barack Obama in November's presidential elections, experts and poll results say.

High gasoline prices can hurt a president in an election year, but when they fall, people forget about them, and they become a non-issue.

"Falling gasoline prices have taken the edge off the issue," says Dennis Jacobe, chief economist at Gallup, the polling organization, in Washington, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

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"Gasoline prices are still very high but not near the peak of July 2008, when it was $4.11 a gallon."

Gasoline prices are averaging $3.75 a gallon, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, down from earlier this year when they regularly pushed close to the $4 mark.

Some economists even predicted gasoline prices to average $5 a gallon in certain parts of the country.

In a recent George Washington University/Politico poll, only 3 percent of respondents consider energy and gasoline important, compared with 28 percent who consider the economy important.

The economy could hurt the president now that gasoline prices are behind him, says Bill Connelly, a professor of politics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va.

"President Obama is out of the frying pan and into the fire of economic statistics," Connelly tells the Monitor.

"Now, we’re into other economic issues."

Falling global oil prices are dousing fears retail gasoline prices would break records this summer, when prices are at their peak.

"It's almost like a tax cut," says Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, according to the Associated Press.

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