Jumpin’ Poll Flash Is a Gas, Gas, Gas

The new ABC-WaPo poll showing Barack Obama slipping against both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum along with bright flashing arrows indicating rising gasoline prices are the main factor in this shift should, as Jamelle Bouie suggests, dash any over-confidence among Democrats about the outcome of the November elections. If nothing else, it’s clear pump prices have offset any positive feelings about recent job reports in terms of perceptions of Obama’s handling of the economy.

The full ABC/WaPo poll isn’t available yet, and it will be interesting to learn the extent to which unhappiness with Obama over gas prices is congruent with the finding that 50% of Americans think the president can do something about the problem while 45% think he can’t. But Bouie is right: any foundation of support for the president that can’t survive a spike in gasoline prices even as the differences between the two parties on a thousand other issues becomes starker every day isn’t strong enough to take to the bank.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.