A new poll out Tuesday by Rasmussen Reports found that 81% of Americans see soaring gasoline prices as being a "serious problem" for their personal budgets, and of that group, 56% consider it a "very serious problem."
The survey of 1,000 adults in the United States was conducted by Rasmussen from March 9-10 and has a margin of error of +/- 3%, the organization said.
Just 18% said they don't consider the higher prices a serious problem for their budgets.
Of those surveyed, 59% said they are not driving as much, and 61% said they have reduced spending on other purchases or activities due to the rising prices.
Another 39% said they have not cut back on driving at all, and 35% said it has not changed their spending habits, according to the poll.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States for the second week of March was $4.41, compared to $2.85 last year and $2.51 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
Diesel fuel has also risen this week by 40 cents a gallon from an average of $4.89 per gallon on March 7 to $5.25 per gallon as of Monday, according to the agency.
Broken down along demographic lines, the survey found that more Republicans, 68%, see the issue as very serious, compared to 47% of Democrats and 55% of unaffiliated voters.
More than half — 63% — of Black adults see the problem as very serious, compared to 57% of whites, and 51% of other minorities, the survey found.
People with incomes under $50,000 per year feel it is a very serious problem, compared to just 28% of those earning more than $200,000 per year, according to the survey.
While solid majorities in these categories said they have reduced spending due to the higher prices, only 40% from those earning above $200,000 per year said it has changed their spending habits.
As the midterm elections approach, 70% of voters favor increasing domestic production of oil and gas to reduce foreign dependence, a separate Rasmussen survey from March 7 found.
In that survey, 88% said gasoline prices will be a major issue in the 2022 midterm elections, and 52% of voters think that the energy policies of President Joe Biden are worse than the policies of former President Donald Trump, according to that survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted on March 3 and March 6 with a margin of error of +/- 3%.
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