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Energy prices, the economy and the election

Business Times - 20 Mar 2012


Energy prices, the economy and the election

Unfortunately for Obama, rising oil prices will cost votes whatever he does

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

WHEN one considers the Federal Reserve's recent outlook, the rise in retail prices, the creation of more new jobs, and the relatively bullish stock market, it is possible for your average American voter to conclude that the US economy is showing some new signs of momentum - or is expanding 'moderately', as the Fed put it. And that could play into the political hands of President Barack Obama.

But former Massachusetts Governor and the leading Republican presidential candidates believe that they have discovered a political-mathematical formula of sorts to help them beat the president in November: The more gas prices go up, the more President Obama's poll numbers go down.

Even President Obama seems to get it. 'As long as gas prices are going up, people are going to feel like I'm not do…