More than half of likely voters think the federal government should release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to bring down rising gasoline prices.
Fifty-one percent of respondents think the Obama administration should release the oil, while 40 percent think it shouldn’t and 10 percent are unsure, according to The Hill Poll.
Those numbers mirror the results from a poll conducted for The Hill nearly one year ago, on March 9, 2011. At that time, 50 percent said the White House should dip into the reserves, 35 percent said no and 15 percent weren’t sure.
The national average price for gasoline hit $3.74 per gallon Friday — a 46-cent increase since the start of the year.
Gas prices usually rise as the weather gets nicer and people use their cars more, but analysts say this spike is likely due to concerns that world supplies could be reduced as the West confronts Iran over its nuclear program through sanctions and possibly war.
The poll showed a gender gap, with 58 percent of women saying the United States should release oil reserves and 31 percent opposing the move, while 50 percent of men opposed the release and 42 percent favored it.
Pulse Opinion Research conducted The Hill Poll of likely voters on March 1, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.’