Bush's tanking approval ratings

As go gas prices, so goes the president's popularity. Time to fill up the SUV.

Published April 8, 2005 5:17PM (EDT)

The price of gas isn't the sexiest issue in the world, and it doesn't always get a lot of attention from big city reporters who are more likely to get back and forth to work on New York's subway or Washington's Metro than to suffer the outrage of spending 50 bucks to gas up their Chevy Compensators.

But gas prices are high and getting higher -- an Energy Department report issued Thursday predicts average prices of $2.28 per gallon this summer, with prices 25 to 50 cents higher than that in California -- and at least one poll-watcher says that's very bad news for George W. Bush. As Dan Froomkin reminds us today, Stuart Eugene Thiel, a.k.a., Professor Pollkatz, has come up with a nifty chart showing how closely the president's approval ratings track the price of gasoline. Gas prices go down, Bush's approval ratings go up. Gas prices go up, Bush's approval ratings go down.

Call us cruel, but we'll be thinking about that chart as we make our rounds this weekend, especially when we pull up behind a solo driver in a Yukon XL -- 14 mpg city, 18 mpg highway -- sporting a W '04 sticker on its big chrome bumper. Happy motoring, pal.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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