Pain at the pump could shift midterm outcome: ‘This election is likely won or lost at the pump’



Gas prices are spiking ahead of the midterm elections, and many strategists agree that regardless of whether President Biden’s policies caused the high prices, “this election is likely won or lost at the pump.”

California is currently experiencing the highest gas prices in the country at $6.43 a gallon, a two dollar increase from the same time last year when the cost for gas per gallon stood at $4.41. In Nevada, where all eyes are on the midterm Senate race that pits Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., against GOP opponent Adam Laxalt, prices at the pump are the second-highest in the country at $5.54 per gallon, compared to $3.88 in October 2021.

Kellyanne Conway, Republican pollster and Fox News contributor, placed the blame firmly on Biden, “a president with no energy — and no energy plan.”

“As gas prices surge, President Biden’s credibility on energy slumps,” Conway said. 

Pointing to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll that showed 74% of Americans say the economy is in bad shape, Conway said Biden and the Democrats more broadly will pay the price for the flagging economy.

OCTOBER SUPRISE? WHY OPEC’S PLANNED PRICE HIKE COULD PUMMEL DEMOCRATS

“Certainly those numbers will worsen for Democrats, now that gas prices are on the upswing again. Biden’s first act in office was to shut down U.S. pipelines, which destroyed jobs and American energy independence. Then this year, he flew a fleet of gas guzzlers to Saudi Arabia to fist bump and beg, on bended knee, for additional oil. Can’t blame Putin, COVID or corporations for this. Biden chose foreign oil over U.S. jobs. He is why fueling your car and heating your home is increasingly unaffordable,” Conway said.

Gas station prices alleviates slightly in the summer, but appear to be back on the rise.
(Megan Myers/Fox News )

Democrats experienced a boost in momentum and opinion polls over the summer, coinciding with gas prices dropping in most places around the country. However, with prices rising again, many political strategists see the party flagging headed into the midterm elections.

“Election 2022 has been all about the economy from day one,” said Scott Rasmussen, political analyst and pollster. “It is true that the Democrat’s gains over the summer came after the Dobbs’ decision was reached. But the real driving force behind those Democratic gains was the declining gas prices. As the cost of gas goes up again, so do the Republican prospects on Election Day.”

“There’s still more than a month to go in this election season and a lot could change. At the moment, though, it appears likely that the GOP will win both the House and Senate. If gas prices keep going up, the Republican margins will go up with them,” he added.

Patrick De Haan, commonly known as the “Gas Buddy Guy,” spoke to Fox News Digital about the spike in gas prices and how it may play out in the upcoming midterm elections. “I think gas prices are a very politically charged subject. It would not surprise me that Americans cognizant of high prices may use, you know, the state of gas prices as a factor in how they vote,” De Haan said in an exclusive statement.

While several states are noticing an upsurge, others including Florida, Louisiana and Texas that are located further south are seeing their gas prices remain the same at around $3 per gallon.

MARC THIESSEN: IT’S A ‘DIRTY LITTLE SECRET’ DEMOCRATS WANT HIGH GAS PRICES TO ‘GET US TO GIVE UP FOSSIL FUELS’

“I would say that going into late October, early November, prices should be moderating,” De Haan said. “I think it’s probable that prices in much of the West Coast should be in things down for a good portion … it may take a week or two for the trend to start showing downdrafts, but I would say probably by mid to late October, prices should be falling for much of the West Coast and potentially the Great Lakes as well.”

The oil analyst discussed the Biden administration not taking responsibility for the price hikes, and blaming oil companies. “I think it’s misguiding. The president and the White House insinuating that oil companies have control over something, when really it’s a combination of factors outside their control of the way oil prices are higher,” De Haan said.

Prices at the pump are on another upward climb, just five weeks ahead of the midterm elections.

Prices at the pump are on another upward climb, just five weeks ahead of the midterm elections.
(J.C. Rice/New York Post)

“There’s not much they can do aside from shifting policies and providing more clarity and certainty to the oil sector on the future of oil consumption,” De Haan said in terms of what the Biden administration can do to alleviate the pains at the pump. “Oil companies are hesitant to invest in raising production and building new capacity because the administration has openly, openly indicated that it will be pushing Americans away from consuming fossil fuels. And that certainly has an impact on the future viability of the oil sector. And I think that’s why we probably won’t see much meaningful improvement.”

Scott Huffman, executive director for Center for Public Opinion & Policy Research, said that the price hike will not end well for the Democrats. 

“The party of the president traditionally loses seats in midterm elections. High prices at the pump can exacerbate anger at the ‘incumbent’ party,” Huffman said. “To that end, the Biden administration went back on it promise regarding human rights and met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the visit to Saudi Arabia in hopes of increasing OPEC production and bringing down gas prices. While that had the temporary desired effect on prices, recent threats of OPEC production cuts will cause another spike in gas prices that could come at the worst possible time in the midterm election cycle for Democrats.”

Patrick De Haan said that there is not much Biden can do at this point to lower prices other than "shifting policies and providing more clarity and certainty to the oil sector on the future of oil consumption."

Patrick De Haan said that there is not much Biden can do at this point to lower prices other than “shifting policies and providing more clarity and certainty to the oil sector on the future of oil consumption.”
(Drew Angerer)

Will O’Grady, RNC deputy press secretary, told Fox News that the gas prices will lead to the Democrats‘ defeat this fall. “Biden’s ‘victory lap’ on gas prices epitomizes how out of touch he is with struggling Americans. Democrats’ reckless spending and anti-U.S. energy policies are to blame for the rising costs of gas, groceries, and everyday goods. The rising cost of living and the economy remain the top concern for voters, and the main reason Democrats will lose in November,” O’Grady said.

“Gas prices and groceries are the most visible evidence of an economy for whom nearly two-thirds of Americans (sixty-one percent) say is on the ‘wrong track’. In our Harris Poll data, seven in ten Americans say gas prices are where they feel most affected by inflation; nearly double that of any other consumable. So while the Democrats attempt to deflect to culture issues like Roe v. Wade, this election is likely won or lost at the pump,” said John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll.

OPEC+ CUTS OIL PRODUCTION AMID FEARS OVER HIGHER GAS PRICES

However, Democrats are not backing down from their statement that oil companies, Russia and other factors are actually to blame.

“Despite price gouging and Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine, Democrats lowered gas prices at a record pace over the summer. Democrats remain the only party fighting to crack down on price gouging — Republicans voted to protect the wealthy oil companies making record profits off the backs of hardworking American families,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee deputy press secretary Tommy Garcia.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told Fox News' Peter Doocy that the Biden administration has "always been very clear that there is more work to do."

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told Fox News’ Peter Doocy that the Biden administration has “always been very clear that there is more work to do.”
(Alex Brandon)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

White House press secretary Karine Jean Pierre was pressed by Fox News’ Peter Doocy on why gas prices are on another incline after President Biden assured the American public prices would ease, but attributed the blame to Russia. 

“There’s been pandemic and there’s been Putin’s war. And Putin’s war has increased gas prices at the pump. We have seen that over the past several months,” Jean Pierre said during a White House press briefing Tuesday.