OK, I’m going on the record here. Within the next 30 days gasoline prices will drop below $2 gallon and the price will rise again after 7 November to the near $3 realm of a few months ago. And the American people will gladly take part in this political deception. We are so easily manipulated by our own greed and self-centeredness.
When it comes to President Bush’s approval rating – the number that measures his political health – one factor seems more powerful than any Oval Office address or legislative initiative.
It’s the price of a gallon of gas.
Statisticians who have compared changes in gas prices and Bush’s ratings through his presidency have found a steady relationship: As gas prices rise, his ratings fall. As gas prices fall, his ratings rise.
For some Americans, analysts speculate, gas prices provide a shorthand reading of the general state of the economy. Even though prices at the pump are largely outside the president’s control, he gets credit when they fall – and blame when they rise.