- Category: Politics
How Fuel Could Determine The 2012 Election
With the Republican primaries coming to their conclusion, it appears all but certain that Mitt Romney will be the one facing incumbent President Barack Obama in the general election come November. Mitt Romney was able to easily overcome his closest rival in the primaries, crazy "conservative" Rick Santorum, by essentially outspending him nearly 10:1. Unfortunately, his cash supply will do little good in the general election, as it is widely presumed that Obama will be able to raise nearly one billion dollars for his re-election campaign. Although Romney may not be able to use the weapon of money to defeat his opponent in the next race, like he did in the primaries, the slick looking Mormon from New England will have record-high gas prices as an ally that could prove to be enough to break Obama's back.
Most voters understood that when Obama got elected that he was inheriting a massive mess. In 2008, the economy was still deep in the hole, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were still raging on and the financial crisis, bail outs and corporate greed were dominating headlines. People understood that there was not going to be a quick fix, as it was evident that the entire global economy was being rocked. Although the American people would be patient for hope and change, nearly four years later not much has changed. The economy is still struggling, while corporate earnings are near record-highs. The unemployment rate is boiling hot, and Occupy Wall Street has become a household phrase. However, it is the daily reminder at the gas pumps that has many Americans considering a new leadership in the oval office.
Critics agree that Obama inherited a difficult situation in 2008, but they also state that he has had nearly four years to alleviate the national woes. Most voters turn a blind eye to corporate fraud, bailouts and other political issues, but high gasoline prices for some odd reason tend to really aggravate people. In fact, if gas prices continue to rise, many political analysts predict that could be enough to derail President Obama from acquiring a second-term as President.
"The opinions are mixed on how much influence a President can have on the price of fuel in a free market system, but it is clear that the marginal increase at the pumps is making many people soften up on their stance on drilling off-shore and in closed off regions in Alaska", stated a political writer for GPS Tracker Shop. "The knee-jerk reaction is to say drill baby drill, but people need only to look back at the Exxon-Valdez oil spill, and incident in the Gulf Coast to see the consequences of drilling. If consumers spent time practicing better driving habits, checking tire pressure and maintaining proper vehicle maintenance, they could enhance fuel economy. That may not be a long-term solution, but alternative fuel sources and simply cutting back on consumption can all have a much more positive impact on the environment. It would be shameful if gas prices actually impacted the decision of a voter."
There is no doubt that the Romney camp will attack Obama about gas prices, making suggestions that the democrats' policy was directly having an effect on what people were paying at gas stations. The only question remaining is if the rhetoric around gas prices will actually have influence come November.