ABC Headline & Tweet Touts Poll Blaming Big Oil and Putin, Not Biden for High Gas Prices

April 11th, 2022 4:47 PM

When the network news divisions take public opinion polls, and President Biden looks terrible in them, they have a tendency to downplay them. ABC reported on their latest poll with Ipsos under the headline "Most Americans blame Vladimir Putin, oil companies for high gas prices: POLL."

They sent the same message on Twitter: 

The online story by Meredith Deliso began: "As politicians spar over who's to blame for recent increases in gas prices, a large majority of Americans say oil companies and Russian President Vladimir Putin are major culprits, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds."

The headline is, technically true -- but it's not an either-or choice. "Most" do blame Putin and oil companies - but, majorities also blame Biden (51%) and Democrat policies (52%). In terms of "a great deal of blame," the results for Dems/Biden/Oil companies are pretty much the same: Biden 33%, Dem policies 31% and oil companies 35%, and Putin at 39%. 

Plus, when asked, "Do you approve or disapprove of the way Joe Biden is handling gas prices, 68% say they disapprove (much higher than the 51% who blame him for the rise in prices.) The 68% disapproval is basically unchanged from a month ago (70%), since it's well within the unusually high margin of error of nearly five percent (4.9%).

Deliso's second paragraph admits this: "Along party lines, Americans are more likely to blame Democrats for the increase in gas prices than Republicans, according to the poll, which also found much greater enthusiasm about voting in this November's elections among Republicans than among Democrats."

But you wouldn't get that notion if you're just reading tweets or headlines in passing. 

The poll came up briefly in the last five minutes of This Week on Sunday. Substitute host Jonathan Karl didn't try to hype people blaming Putin for the price hike. He said their poll had "many interesting data points," like 60 percent disapproviing of Biden's handling of immigration. "Other than gas prices and inflation, it was his lowest approval rating."


Research assistance by Craig Bannister. The ABC polling once-over was funded in part by CarMax.