I maintain that rising gas prices are the biggest threat to Obama’s reelection. New polling by the Washington Post suggests this is probably correct.
I do think that, no matter how high gas prices go up, Obama will have plenty of ability to fight back on this. Republicans will naturally demagogue the issue to high heaven, but so far they have nothing more than insult our intelligence when talking about gas prices. Sure, Newt’s promise of $2.50 a gallon sounds great, but it’s obvious he has absolutely no plan to get there.
I feel Obama’s best strategy when it comes to gas prices is to demonize the oil companies. Nobody likes them, or at least the petroleum companies are not huge players in many battleground states. Maybe voters in Texas and Louisiana will be put off some by an attack on big oil, but a) maybe not and b) who cares. If he attacks petroleum company profits, which have consistently set records over the past decade at times of price spikes, I think he can tap into some of that 99% energy and push back enough on the gas issue to limit the damage.