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Oil prices up, President Obama down

Linking the latest Washington Post/ABC News Poll, headlined, Gas prices sink Obama’s ratings on economy, bring parity to race for White House, Glenn Reynolds, quips, “This is why they want people talking about birth control.”  In his piece on the very same poll, Jim Geraghty challenges the conventional wisdom about Obama’s inevitability, ABC/WashPost Poll: Unstoppable Incumbent Now Trails Romney Again.

It seems,” Ed Morrissey writes looking at the poll . . .

. . . that Obama’s dismissive advice last week that gas prices are always “spiking up” this time of year didn’t do anything to set minds at ease.  Rapid gas price hikes and the resulting increase in food prices quickly erode buying power in working-class and middle-class households, which means that fewer people will have money for vacations and impulse spending in 2012.

And there we have (again) the specter of higher food prices, an increase felt more acutely by those who do the grocery shopping which, in heterosexual households, tends to be women.  No wonder the Obama campaign is making “an intensified effort this week to build support among women“.  Distraction, anyone?

UPDATE:  Have voters comes to expect incompetence from Obama?  Conflicting responses (which Geraghty noted) to the same question posed just shy of six years ago when George W. Bush was president offers a clue that they might:

[In the current poll,] They asked, “Do you think there’s anything the Obama administration reasonably can do to reduce gasoline prices, or do you think gas prices have risen because of factors beyond the administration’s control?” They found 50 percent responded the administration can do something; 45 percent said “beyond their control.”

Back in May 2006, 62 percent thought that the Bush administration could do something about the price of gas, and only 35 percent thought it was beyond their control.

Emphasis added.

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17 Comments

  1. “Have voters come to expect incompetence from Obama?”

    I pretty much expected it since he announced his candidacy for the last election – and he has not disappointed.

    Comment by alanstorm — March 12, 2012 @ 1:28 pm - March 12, 2012

  2. That’s because, Alan, rather than judging on skin color as the media, the left, and the educational system have tried to teach you to do, you were judging on character and actual performance.

    What has happened, I think, is that people have started realizing that black skin does not automatically equal competence or intelligence. That’s why Obama has on several levels been a blessing in disguise; he’s done a magnificent job of creating fact after fact after example after example that directly contradicts the left’s narrative that black skin fixes everything.

    And his supporters have made it clear to people that “racist” doesn’t mean you hate people or discriminate based on skin color; it only means that you are criticizing Obama, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s justified or not, you will be silenced for doing so.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 12, 2012 @ 1:44 pm - March 12, 2012

  3. “That’s because, Alan, rather than judging on skin color as the media, the left, and the educational system have tried to teach you to do, you were judging on character and actual performance.”

    So that’s what I’ve been doing wrong…no wonder nothing coming out of the LSM makes sense!

    Comment by alanstorm — March 12, 2012 @ 2:12 pm - March 12, 2012

  4. people have started realizing that black skin does not automatically equal competence or intelligence.

    I think you have that backwards. You see, the left (in general) evidently believes that black skin equals incompetence and unintelligence. Or, that is one way to explain their support for affirmative action. They don’t think black people can succeed without help from the government.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — March 12, 2012 @ 4:49 pm - March 12, 2012

  5. [...] Great minds think alike; Dan Blatt of Gay Patriot: “Oil Prices Up, President Obama Down.” Tags: All the President's Greenies, Bakken shale, drilling, energy crisis, Fracking, gas [...]

    Pingback by The 21st Century Energy Crisis — March 12, 2012 @ 7:27 pm - March 12, 2012

  6. ABC/WashPost Poll: Unstoppable Incumbent Now Trails Romney Again

    This sums up everything about polling in the internet age. As I saw on Twitter about the Republican primary “Yesterday’s logic: Romney’s the nominee, Today’s logic: Brokered convention”. Also in 2008, the logic about polls swung so much from “Obama’s got it in the bag” to “OMG, polls tightening!” that it became a running joke.

    My way of dealing with it is to ignore polls entirely until we’re reasonably close to an election, and then to remain sceptical of new polls until they’ve had time to become actual trends. To do otherwise is more often than not an exercise in reading meaning into statistical noise.

    Comment by Serenity — March 12, 2012 @ 7:52 pm - March 12, 2012

  7. My way of dealing with it is to ignore polls entirely until we’re reasonably close to an election, and then to remain sceptical of new polls until they’ve had time to become actual trends.

    Huh. I actually agree with Serenity on something.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — March 12, 2012 @ 10:31 pm - March 12, 2012

  8. Gotta agree with you SERENITY. You really can’t take any poll seriously, even exit polls – remember Bush v. Kerry. Kerry convinced he had won because of early exit polls

    Second reason is the math. The greatest math genius or the fastest Cray Computer can never convince me that a poll of 865 people represents the opinion of 300+ million people. Hell, divide 865 by 57 states and thats 15.17 people per state. A broke clock is right 2 times per day – that is about how often Gallup or Rasmussen are close to correct

    Comment by mixitup — March 12, 2012 @ 10:37 pm - March 12, 2012

  9. Sixty-five-dollars this morning to fill a gas-tank that used to take $20 to fill when we bought it. That’s CHANGE I can believe in…**snert**

    And my daily driver is over $85 for a full tank. During the “Gas Crisis” when I was in High School I used to be able to fill a similar-sized gas-tank for $20.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — March 13, 2012 @ 11:30 am - March 13, 2012

  10. Mixitup, I don’t plan on convincing you, but I did want to address the statistics.

    In theory, what is stated is pretty much correct. With 865 people in a survey, the margin of error is about 3.3% of a candidates poll numbers (or 6.6% if you are comparing the difference between two main rivals). What this means is that there is 95% confidence that the actual percentage of voters voting for the candidate is within 3.3% given in the poll. A confidence level of 90% reduces the margin of error to about 2.8% (or 5.6% when looking at the difference). Doubling the sample size to 1730 reduces the margins of error to 2.4% and 2.0% for the above confidence levels.

    The 865 is supposed to represent 300,000,000 doesn’t matter. The statistics is identical if it was only 20,000 or as high as the national debt. Think of it this way. If you had a coin, and you tossed it 865 times, and you got about 50% heads, you can be 95% certain that the percentage of heads when the coin is tossed 300,000,000 (or any number of times) will be between 46.7% and 53.3%.

    So this is some of the mathematics and statistics behind polling.

    I am skeptical too, but not for the mathematics. The problem is the human factor. I do think polling companies do a decent job with obtaining a random sample. If not, that in and of itself throws out the above mathematics. What is more problematic is that humans don’t always accurately relay their intentions. For this type of polling, this would include saying one supports one candidate when they intend to vote for another, or saying one plans on voting when one has no intention of voting.

    And this is for simple polling for candidate preference. Other types of polling are worse, especially when the wording of questions alone can sway an answer.

    Comment by Pat — March 13, 2012 @ 5:03 pm - March 13, 2012

  11. Pat,
    Thanks for the math aspect to polling. I must admit I was kind of aware of what you point out. A good friend of mine is a math savant, and we have had numerous discussions about this subject. She is even more conservative than I.

    The math, equations and logrithms used are pure, and work in a pure environment, such as you coin toss example. BUT, as you point out there are other things that have an impact. Take your coin toss example. Done in your office, the results will be as you predicted. Now put the coin toss in an open field in the middle of a 50 mph gale, and the results have to be mathimatically adjusted.

    In polling those 865 peopl, 26% are republican, 47% are democrat, and the other 27% are moderates – the polling company puts out a headline that 61% 0f americans support an obama initiative, with a 3.3% margin of error. Sorry, all the stats in the world make it a bogus poll. By the way, those are actual breakdowns from a recent poll that the MSM had all over the front pages. The poll and it’s headline were really designed to demoralize conservatives, NOT to provide accurate statistical polling data.

    But, other than the myriad of variables you are correct in the math – with a 3.75% margin of error. Just kidding – thanks Pat, I appreciate your explanation.

    Comment by mixitup — March 13, 2012 @ 9:26 pm - March 13, 2012

  12. There’s lots Obama can do about gas prices.

    1) Stop His war on oil production, thus showing speculators that the future supply picture will be better.
    2) Stop His (and Bernanke’s) war on the U.S. dollar.

    Who likes to see economic issues explained by cute bears? I DO! http://www.zerohedge.com/news/bears-explain-price-gas-special-gop-primary-edition

    Worth quoting:

    A: What is making gas prices go up in America?
    B: The falling dollar… The price of anything is based on… the currency you are using to pay for it.
    A: So, as the value of a dollar goes down, we need more and more of it to buy a gallon of gasonline.
    B: Exactly. That’s why, in America, the price has been rising despite high [current] supply [due to Bush policies], and low demand.
    A: Is the situation different in other countries?
    B: Yes… in Australia… gas prices have not gone up as much, because their currency has been gaining value against ours.
    A: Why is the U.S. dollar falling in value?
    B: Because Bernanke keeps printing more and more to stimulate the economy.
    A: But don’t higher gas prices hurt the economy?
    B: Absolutely…
    A: So what does Bernanke say about his driving up gas prices?
    B: He says his policies have nothing to do with rising gas prices.
    A: But doesn’t he keep taking credit for rising stock prices?
    B: Yes. He has said on many occasions that one of the direct benefits of his policies is rising stock prices.
    A: So, does he think the two are not related at all?
    B: Apparently not.
    A: Is he lying?
    B: Completely.
    A: Can you prove it?
    B: Easily.
    A: How?
    B: By looking at a chart of gas prices compared to stock prices. [video shows it; the two are strangely similar, as if both are priced in some underlying common currency that may gain or lose buying power]
    A: And yet Bernanke claims credit for [stock prices], but says he has nothing to do with [gas prices]?
    B: Right. It’s like admitting you drank too much, then saying the hangover is not your fault.
    A: How does Bernanke hope to get away with that?
    B: He has a lot of help from misguided reporters and shady politicians.
    A: Doesn’t this all mean that whatever the Fed[eral Reserve] does to stimulate the economy will also hurt it elsewhere?
    B: Exactly…

    ‘Nuff said.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 13, 2012 @ 11:33 pm - March 13, 2012

  13. Who likes to see economic issues explained by cute bears? I DO!

    Um, I think that that what I found when I clicked on the link wasn’t what I was expecting is a sign that I spend too much time reading this blog. Also, I wonder what it says about me that I clicked on the link in the first place.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — March 13, 2012 @ 11:54 pm - March 13, 2012

  14. Heh :-) Only now do I remember that gay guys can take “cute bears” another way… guess I should turn in my card!

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 14, 2012 @ 12:00 am - March 14, 2012

  15. Linking the latest Washington Post/ABC News Poll, headlined, Gas prices sink Obama’s ratings on economy, bring parity to race for White House, Glenn Reynolds, quips, “This is why they want people talking about birth control.”

    I agree that it’s politically advantageous for the Democrats to be talking about birth control, but you can’t blame them for starting it. Republicans chose to have that fight when they began raving about religious freedom and government oppression. As happens every election cycle, the Republican party is counting on the enraged evangelical segment of the population to carry them in November.

    Conservatives went out of their way to call Obama a totalitarian, and now you’d like to pretend that he’s the one that wanted to talk about birth control? How does that work?

    Comment by Levi — March 14, 2012 @ 7:50 am - March 14, 2012

  16. George Stephanopolous brought up birth control initially.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — March 14, 2012 @ 3:34 pm - March 14, 2012

  17. Conservatives went out of their way to call Obama a totalitarian, and now you’d like to pretend that he’s the one that wanted to talk about birth control? How does that work?

    Comment by Levi — March 14, 2012 @ 7:50 am – March 14, 2012

    I suppose that’s what it takes for you to cope with the fact that the vast and overwhelming majority of Americans disagree with your stance that churches should be forced to pay for your abortions, Levi.

    But of course, what would we expect? You’re too lazy to wear a condom, too cheap to pay for contraception, and too misogynist to respect the word no, so in your twisted little liberal world, abortion IS the only choice that women have — unless they want to raise the child themselves with no help or support coming from their loser liberal father.

    That’s why your Obama message isn’t resonating, Levi. Women have figured out that liberals like you and Barack Obama expect them to shut up and do what they’re told because you are kind enough to give them the option of having a baby or murdering it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 14, 2012 @ 6:10 pm - March 14, 2012

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