Apparently the GOP's gas price talking point is starting to hurt the president. The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll has found that 65 percent of Americans disapprove (52 percent "strongly") of the way Obama is handling the recent rise in gas prices. This may explain why the president currently has an overall rating of only 46 percent.
Of course, there's a whole suite of political and economic influences driving up the price of gas—chief among them speculation of an Israeli and/or U.S. war with the country controlling a fifth or sixth of the world's oil. That's not stopping Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and others from politicizing the issue and Fox News from explicitly asking its hosts to integrate it into their programming in a staff memo. This may explain why we saw Obama push back on the gas price question during his first press conference of the year last Tuesday: "Just from a political perspective, do you think the president of the United States going into reelection wants gas prices to go higher?" No, clearly not. But Republican candidates might, if only to see how much it can chip away at the incumbent.