A Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll indicates that only 1 in 8 Americans blame gas prices on "political or policy-related" factors. Most blame a nexus of "greed, speculation and oil companies." Factually, this is somewhat inverse to the true nature of things - private speculation is a phantom with negligible effect on oil prices and greedy oil-companies are a straw man which Obama hopes to publically vilify as a means of extracting ever increasing tax revenue (and thereby aid "green" energy). These rhetorical villains are conveniently evoked to corral people into cheering the very source of their economic pain: government intrusion in the market.
Obama is thus enjoying great fortune. He will own gas prices at the election, but not so dearly if external factors are seen to share the blame. Republican candidates would do well to educate the public on the facts of oil prices as well as the inevitable effects of Obama's policies toward oil producers between now and next November.