The PJ Tatler

How does price at the gas pump affect Presidential races? A lot.

The price of gasoline at the pump is rising at an alarming rate.  How does this affect Presidential elections?

Keith Koffler, who publishes the always interesting White House Dossier decided to ask the question. His answer: higher gas prices do seem to be bad news for incumbent presidents and their party.

Koffler examined official U.S. Department of Energy data. Going back since the 1976 election, he found out that in eight of the last nine presidential elections, if the price of gasoline was higher than election day than four years earlier, the incumbent president or the candidate of his party lost.

The only exception was 2004 when George W. Bush won despite pump prices being higher.

Koffler surmises that “The price at the pump has a lot to do with our sense of well being. It  is a point of frustration or satisfaction we recognize every few days when we go to fill up.”

Not sure if this is the decisive factor. But for those who are interested in pursuing it, gasoline today costs about a dollar more than when President Obama was inaugurated.