WASHINGTON — With gas prices climbing and little relief in sight, President Barack Obama is scrambling to get ahead of the latest potential obstacle to his re-election bid, even as Republicans are making plans to exploit the issue.
No one seems more aware of the electoral peril than Obama himself.
"My poll numbers go up and down depending on the latest crisis, and right now gas prices are weighing heavily on people," he told Democratic donors in Los Angeles this past week.
In fact, Obama raised the issue unsolicited in a series of town meetings in Virginia, California and Nevada that were ostensibly about his deficit-reduction plan. And he made the gas spike the subject of his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday.
"It's just another burden when things were already pretty tough," he said.