ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Oil Prices and the US Election

Barack Obama needs oil prices to remain high to fuel voter anger to neutralise fears about his colour.

The outcome of the US presidential elections in November is likely to be determined by how much Americans have to pay for their petrol to run their cars in the coming months. If the average nationwide retail price of gasoline falls below $ 3.50 per gallon in September and October, then the odds are high that Republican John McCain will be the next president. If the price stays above $ 4, which it is at present, Democrat Barack Obama may win.

Owning a car is considered a birthright by most Americans. But, as crude oil prices have risen sharply over the past few years, they have had to spend more and more on gasoline to be able to drive to work, shop, take their children to their sports activities, see a movie, eat out, meet friends and relatives, consult a doctor and to do most other things outside their homes. A higher payment for gasoline week after week reminds Americans of the ongoing Iraq crisis and the economic and geopolitical mess under the Republican administration of president George Bush. Over the past year, with crude oil prices more than doubling to around $ 146 per barrel (before the recent dip), president Bush’s job approval rating amongst Americans has inversely sunk.

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