Poll: Obama receives low marks on efforts to reduce gas prices

Despite efforts to tout his administration's energy policies, a new poll finds voters still overwhelmingly disapprove of President Obama's handling of high gas prices.

Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed in a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released Tuesday disapproved of Obama’s efforts on high prices at the pump. Twenty-four percent approved of how the administration is handling the price spikes.

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On a worrying note for the president, the disapproval registers across party lines, with 89 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of independents giving him negative marks on gas prices.

However, the poll also finds that most voters hold the oil industry or foreign nations, and not Obama, responsible for causing the higher prices.

Thirty-six percent said “oil companies that want to make too much profit” were most to blame, while 26 percent pointed the finger at a range of factors including tensions with foreign nations and environmental regulations that stifle domestic drilling. 

"Obama is getting heat for it, but people aren't necessarily blaming him for it," said Ipsos research director Chris Jackson, in a Reuters report.

The White House has faced constant attacks from congressional Republicans and the GOP presidential field over higher gas prices, which threaten to blunt any political gains Obama could see from the improving economy.

Obama, though, has launched an aggressive effort to promote his administration’s energy policies. In a series of speeches this month, he has warned there are no quick solutions to rising prices and touted his measures to expand the use of green energy, the implementation of heightened fuel economy rules and moves to open up land and offshore exploration of domestic resources.

Obama has also called for more regulation of energy markets and for cuts to government subsidies for the oil industry.

Republicans, though, have hammered the president for rejecting approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring oil sands from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast, and have criticized moves by congressional Democrats to target oil speculation on commodities markets.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted from March 26 to 27 and has a 5 percent margin of error.