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Oil Price Crash Could Hurt Trump in Texas, Help in Pennsylvania

Rock-bottom prices compound the larger economic misery and may reshape the electoral map.
relates to Oil Price Crash Could Hurt Trump in Texas, Help in Pennsylvania
Illustration: Woshibai

Gasoline prices of less than $2 a gallon ought to be good news for a U.S. president with an eye on reelection: It’s a truism that American voters are hypersensitive to the price of gas and factor it into their decisions in the voting booth. But with the U.S. now the world’s top energy producer, rock-bottom oil prices are inflicting major economic damage and pose a problem for Donald Trump.

Falling prices caused by shutdowns related to Covid-19—and Saudi Arabia and Russia flooding the market in a price war—have led drillers to close down half of all U.S. oil rigs. The U.S. oil and gas industry lost 51,000 drilling and refining positions in March alone, according to BW Research Partnership, a consulting firm.