Falling Gas Prices Could Hurt Romney Campaign
Falling gas prices around the country have motorists breathing a sigh of relief, but a Mitt Romney campaign that has used rising fuel costs as a weapon during the lead-up to the presidential election may not be so happy to see pump prices dropping.
After relatively small drops over the first half of October, residents of some states are seeing prices as low as $3.20 per gallon, a major decrease from the $3.84 many drivers were paying only a few short weeks ago. While acknowledging that the cost of fuel is difficult to predict over the long-term, analysts remain optimistic that prices will continue to fall, potentially as low as a national average of only $3 per gallon, a rate not seen since 2010.
“Definitely gas prices are already falling and they’re going to continue to fall through the end of the year,” Oil Price Information Service analyst Ben Brockwell said. “The US average which was $3.80 just a few weeks ago is on track to go to below $3.50 here shortly.”
From a political point of view, the news of decreasing gas prices likely comes as welcome news to the Obama administration, as they continue to face increasing pressure from the Romney campaign over a perceived inability to keep a handle on rising fuel costs, most notably linked to Obama’s refusal to sign off on the much-maligned Keystone XL pipeline that would see fuel piped into the country from Canada’s oil sands.
On the other hand, the loss of the valuable political weapon by Romney only a few short weeks before the Presidential election could prove monumental, eliminating the popular Republican refrain concerning perceived Democratic responsibility for skyrocketing gas prices and potentially replacing it with the public notion that the Obama administration deserves credit for the unexpected fuel savings.