Politics

High Gas Prices Could Negatively Affect Biden’s Popularity Among Dems

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While President Joe Biden touts the economic growth seen since he was sworn in, higher gas prices threaten the economy and his popularity.

As of Wednesday, the average domestic gas price sat at $3.14, the highest level since October 2014 and markedly higher than the $2.18 they were a year ago. The high prices have the potential to cause consumers, especially those who have begun returning to the office, some pain but also could be used by Republicans as a political weapon.

The soaring gas prices are not Biden’s fault. They are the combination of several factors, including rising demand as people begin to travel more and, recently, the failure of a group of oil-rich nations known as OPEC+ to reach an agreement to boost output.

“You can’t really place the blame of the swing itself on the president who is in power. These are largely market forces that aren’t immediately impacted by any one administration,” Joel Griffith, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told the Washington Examiner.

Republicans are on the attack. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday slammed Biden and pointed out how long it has been since the price at the pump was this high.

“Americans are paying more in Biden’s America. The cost of gasoline has surged to the highest price since 2014, a time when Biden was last serving in office,” the California Republican said. “President Biden’s disastrous energy policies have decimated American energy independence and increased costs for the American people.”

It is likely that if gas prices persist, Republicans will use them as a cudgel and to undercut positive economic news while the administration is in office. Chris Haynes, an associate professor of political science and national security at the University of New Haven, said that it would be in the GOP’s “strategic interest” to do so.

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