Is there a more worrisome issue to North Carolinians than the price of gas?
The answer, according to the Elon University Poll, is no. When asked what issue concerns them the most, North Carolinians rank gas prices higher than every other issue, including the national debt and the cost of health care.
It makes sense, as people are reminded of the per gallon price each time they drive past a gas station.
North Carolinians aren’t different from their neighbors in other states. A recent Gallup Poll found that 85% of consumers want President Obama and Congress to address the price of gas. And to get it done yesterday.
It is a fertile political issue, and Mitt Romney is tuned into that. On Thursday, he said Obama has tried to shirk his responsibility for increases in the price of gas. “He says `it’s not my fault,'” Romney said during a campaign stop on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. “This is in part his fault. This is a guy who has slowed down … the licensing and permitting of offshore rigs, of onshore drilling.”
Despite Romney’s assertions, economists say there’s not much a president of either party could do about gasoline prices. The current increases at the pump have been driven by fears of a war with oil-rich Iran and by higher demand in the U.S. as well as in China, India and other quickly growing nations.
Consumers aren’t buying that explanation, according to Gallup. Only 31% of them said gas prices are beyond the control of Obama and Congress. The GOP is pinning the blame on the president.
For his part, Obama ordered his Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group back to work to get to the bottom of soaring gasoline and oil prices “We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that consumers aren’t hurt by [gas prices],” Obama said at a press conference on Tuesday. He scoffed at the idea that any president running for reelection would want gas prices to go up.
— John Robinson