The Irony of President Obama’s Rising Job Approval: He Should Thank a Few of His “Frenemies”

President Obama’s State of the Union speech was one giant spiking of the football; linking his policies to America’s swelling economy and taking credit for the whole kit and caboodle. Strange he left out the real cause of it all: plummeting gas prices caused by an oil glut.

The following chart should cure any doubts about the inverse relationship between the price of a gallon of gas (in real dollars, accounting for inflation) and presidential approval (thanks to Gallup). It’s simple: the price of a gallon of gas goes up, presidential job approval goes down. What we are seeing now is the opposite effect: falling gas prices have floated President Obama’s job approval close to the 50{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} mark. Note it isn’t a perfect correlation, but it is tough for a president to get his job approval over 50{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} when gas is over three bucks a gallon. The only time this president has done it was just prior to election day ‘12.


Gas Prices v. Presidential Approval


A more ironic State of the Union speech would have thanked a few of President Obama’s “Frenemies” – folks who have been chaffed by the president – but have also bolstered the president’s job approval by collapsing oil (and gas) prices.

Obama’s “Frenemies”:

— Oil frackers in Texas and North Dakota that have allowed America to surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia in oil production.

— OPEC failing to reach an agreement to curb oil production.

— Russia and Iran refusing to cut oil production.

Low gas prices have given a glow to EVERYTHING President Obama does. But, experts say that production is bound to be reduced somewhere because the low price at the pump can’t pay the cost of extracting it from the ground, putting it in the tank, and whatever else we use oil for. If gas prices go back over three dollars a gallon, look for this…or the next…president’s job approval to take a tumble.

Public Opinion Strategies