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Democrats divided over soaring gas prices’ effect on midterms, as some insist voters won’t punish them

PHILADELPHIA – Congressional Democrats aren’t on the same page about whether voters will punish them for soaring gas prices in this year’s midterm elections.

Fox News Digital asked several House Democrats about the issue at the Democratic caucus retreat in Philadelphia and received mixed responses. 

U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., said he believes that record-setting gas prices will play a role in the upcoming midterm elections, and wants Democrats to work to address the issue. 

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“I think so, and I’m hoping that we can do something to bring the prices down or put money in people’s pockets,” Bowman said. “So those are the two areas I’m focused on or hopeful that we move in that direction.”

America should “double-down and go full-steam-ahead on renewable energy,” the progressive Democrat said. Pursuing fossil fuel initiatives like the Keystone Pipeline, Bowman said, “will literally destroy the planet and ourselves in the process.”

‘What’s happening in Ukraine’

Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, told Fox News Digital he does not believe that the “American public, knowing what’s happening in Ukraine, understanding that the American public itself wants to cut off any purchase of oil from Ukraine by the United States of America.”

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“I don’t think the American public is going to blame one party or another for this,” Green continued. “I think it could become a neutral issue, simply because the American public is asking Congress to do things that can elevate the price of gas.”

Rep. Al Green, D-Texas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, said she isn’t sure whether soaring prices will be a motivating factor in the midterms, before pivoting to talk about the war in Ukraine.

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“I don’t know if they’ll factor into the elections, but certainly, we know, what has happened with the invasion of the Ukraine, and the sanctions of the things that we’re going to have to do are painful,” Beatty said from the dais in response to a question from Fox News Digital.

U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, center, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, says she isn't sure that record-setting gas prices will be a factor in this year's midterm elections. (Getty Images)

“They’re painful to those in Ukraine,” Beatty continued, adding it was “necessary” to put “crippling sanctions” on Russia. 

“To watch yesterday Russia invade a maternity ward and watch what happened with those babies is painful,” she said.

$4.50 per gallon – or more?

Americans are experiencing the highest gas prices since the 2007-09 financial crisis, with the national gas price average soaring $4 per gallon. 

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told Fox News Digital that the national average is headed for $4.50 per gallon and “could go higher,” depending on developments in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Geltrude & Co. founder Dan Geltrude was even more pessimistic. 

Geltrude told Fox News Digital he thinks prices will hit $5 this month and that it could even go as high as $10 unless the Biden administration expands domestic oil production.

“It would not surprise me,” he said. “So until the United States decides, or this administration decides that we are going to pump more oil, it is not going to change. It’s not. Fuel costs are just going to continue to rise.”

Fox News Digital’s Jessica Chasmar contributed reporting.

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