Can the president control gas prices? Answers depend on who you ask and who’s in office

Carl BialikU.S. Politics Editor and Vice President of Data Science
Taylor OrthDirector of Survey Data Journalism
March 16, 2022, 4:26 PM GMT+0

As the cost of fuel continues to surge across the U.S., a recent YouGov Poll finds that 65% of Americans say the president has at least some control over the price of gasoline in the U.S., while 25% say he does not. With Democratic president Joe Biden in the White House, Republicans (85%) are far more likely than Democrats (52%) to say the president has some control.

Polling during previous administrations has found that there isn’t a consistent party gap on the question: There are times when more Democrats than Republicans say the president has some control over gas prices. What seems to matter, as Pew Research reported in 2013, is the party of the sitting president.

A 2012 Economist/YouGov Poll conducted during Barack Obama’s presidency found a similar partisan pattern as the latest poll, with Republicans more likely to hold the president accountable for gas prices than Democrats. Yet in 2006, when Republican George W. Bush was in office, a CBS/New York Times Poll found that Republicans were less likely to blame the president for gas prices than Democrats were.

— Linley Sanders contributed to this article

See the toplines and crosstabs from the 2012 Economist/YouGov Poll

See the toplines and crosstabs from the YouGov Daily Agenda Poll:

Methodology: This Daily Agenda survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 7,662 U.S. adults interviewed online on March 15 - 16, 2022. The samples were weighted to be representative of the U.S. population, based on gender, age, race, education, U.S. census region, and political party.

Image: Getty