(Rochester, NY March 14, 2012) One of the biggest issues that could influence this presidential election is gas prices.
They're skyrocketing---and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.
A new load of gas is coming in to a gas station just off of North Winton Road in Rochester.
Drivers are filling up what they can - at prices that are almost 30 cents higher than a year ago.
"I wish they were lower I can't wait for motorcycle season, it's a lot cheaper," said Pete Fedele, a driver.
"If it goes up to $5 like they say it's going to I'll be really upset," said Andrew Greco, a driver.
"I heard it's supposed to be $4.50 by the summer, I'm going to start riding my bike," said Helene Prince, a driver.
It's those complaints about high gas prices that you are likely going to see candidates play off of come election time.
Dean Mark Zupan of the Simon School of Business says candidates will try to tie gas prices to other issues. He says whether it's the keystone pipeline or other issues of becoming less energy dependent.
He also says there some basic reasons why gas prices are so high.
Zupan says China now imports more oil than exports. And Mideast unrest is spiking prices.
"The biggest driver in the spike of oil prices has been what's going on in the Mideast, fears that something will break out in Iran," said Mark Zupan, Dean of the Simon School of Business.
High school senior Andrew Greco says it's taken a toll on his finances.
"It costs $33 bucks to fill up once a week but I only make about $120 a week," said Greco.
Greco thinks politics may help.
"A lot of Americans don't feel Obama led in right direction economically...affect on candidates and who is going to vote for them," said Greco.
Others say they don't think candidates can change prices.
"I think politics is probably going to make it worse," said Fedele.
Zupan says any policy changes won't likely help out now, but down the road.
"Not over the next six months but over the next two decades we can have significant influence," said Zupan.