It looks like Americans really won't make significant changes in their spending habits until gas prices hit more than $5 per gallon.
A Gallup survey finds that the average price per gallon that would cause Americans to change the way they live their life is $5.35.
The same survey found that most Americans think the President and Congress can and should take actions to affect the rapidly rising price of gasoline.
85% of Americans (including 90% of Republicans and 81% of Democrats) think Washington should do something about rising prices while 65% of Americans (74% of Republicans and 62% of Democrats) can take actions to stop rising prices.
The price of gas has yet to reach a level at which average Americans say they would have to change their lifestyles significantly or cut back on spending in other areas. It appears that a price of roughly $5.30 a gallon would be the tipping point at which the cost of gas would begin to have more widespread impact on consumer behavior.
Gas is far below $5 a gallon now, on average, across America, but there are reports that $5-per-gallon prices in many locations would not be out of the question by summer. If so, and if prices stay high, that could present problems for President Obama's re-election chances. As is the case for all incumbents, their re-election chances are significantly correlated with voter perceptions of the economy.