In the last few months the economy appeared to be improving and President Obama’s job approval numbers have been improving. There is a comeback in independent voters, and many political experts were impressed with the improvement of the unemployment numbers. But many of the economic strategists are concerned with the unrest and turmoil in the Middle East, and they feel gas prices will rise.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics said, “Gasoline prices are likely to keep rising as the summer driving season approaches. Increasing, it’s becoming the biggest threat to the economy, and there is little presidents can do to influence gasoline prices in the near term.”

I am not an economist, but this is an election year and higher gas prices will be blamed on the president. The Republican candidates are lining up to criticize the president’s energy plans and explaining to the American people why their alternative energy plans will work.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich is discussing with the media that he has a plan to help push back gasoline prices to $2.50 a gallon. Senator Rick Santorum has warned the citizens of $5-a-gallon gas, and blamed the high prices because the president is not doing his job. The Republican challengers are full of promises and they all agree that the president made a big mistake when he rejected a pipeline from Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

“And you can bet that since it’s an election year, they’re already dusting off their three-point plans for$2 gas. I’ll save you the suspense. Step one is drill, step two is drill, and step three is keep drilling. We’ve heard the same thing for 30 years,” said President Obama.

The president is telling the citizens that there is no quick fix to rising gas prices, but Americans go to the gas stations every day. Gas prices are a daily reminder that there is a problem with the economy. When Americans can not afford to put gas in their cars, because the price is $6 a gallon, they will become very angry.

I am not suggesting that the price of gasoline will eventually reach $6 a gallon, but in certain sections in the country, the price of gas is over $4 a gallon. Turmoil aboard could force crude oil prices to spike to $200 a barrel, and gas will also continue to spike. There is a growing demand in Asia and South America, and Iran is halting shipments to some European nations, because of sanctions.

Russia and China refuses to support sanctions and their markets allow certain nations such as Iran to continue to sale crude oil and make profits. The United States is caught in the middle and prices at the pump continue to spike. Soaring gasoline prices are threatening to hurt and undercut President Obama’s reelection prospects.

Economists see the $4.25 a-gallon mark as a breaking point for the economy, and it begins to suffer real pain. Many of the economist claim that every one-cent increase in gas is roughly a $1.4 billion drain on the economy. The economy is very vulnerable at this point, because the recover is still early and things could reverse, and go in the wrong direction.

The Republicans will be relentless with their attacks on President Obama’s energy programs and plans. Gasoline prices are an easy target, and if they continue to rise, the Republicans will say it is President Obama’s fault.

Americans are looking for leadership in terms of the gas crisis. Gasoline prices impacts all Americans in their bank accounts, and citizens want the gas problem fixed. If the president can not find a solution to the gas problem, and the prices hit $5.50 a-gallon, it will be hard for the president to win the election.