A significant majority of Americans blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for the recent spike in America’s gas prices, but almost as many blame oil companies, according a new ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday.
In asked about the sizable increase in fuel prices in 2022, more than two-thirds of those polled blamed Putin — 71 percent — and oil companies — 68 percent — either a «great deal» or a «good amount.»
Prices started to spike before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February but have accelerated since, given efforts to stop helping Putin pay for his war through export of his nation’s vast supplies of oil and gas. Only 8 percent found Putin to be blameless in this matter; the same was true of oil companies.
The increase in fuel prices has been a driving force of the inflation that has hit many Americans hard and dominated discussion of economic issues this year, dwarfing the attention paid to a significant decline in unemployment and other signs of economic well-being. That narrative seems destined to dominate the midterm elections this fall.
A majority of those polled also placed blame on President Joe Biden — 51 percent — and the policies of the Democratic Party — 52 percent — for the higher fuel prices. In contrast, a third of those polled blamed the policies of the Republican Party and a quarter put some blame on former President Donald Trump.
A significant majority of Americans — 68 percent — said they disapproved of the way Biden is handling the situation, and only 20 percent held him blameless for the rise in gas prices.
Half of those polled said paying more for fuel has not caused financial hardship for them, but 21 percent said it is causing them «serious» financial hardship.
This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted April 8-9, in both English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 530 adults. The margin of error was listed at 4.9 percent.