Most Americans Expect to Pay More for Gas

But show little enthusiasm for buying cars that run on alternative fuel

ASBURY PARK, N.J. -- A "strong" majority of people expect to be paying more for gasoline in the near future, according to Rasmussen Reports. The latest Rasmussen national telephone survey of American adults shows that most adults (78%) say it's at least somewhat likely they'll be paying more for a gallon of gasoline in six months, including 52% who say it's very likely.

The overall number is down from 94% in May and 87% earlier this year, however. Only 11% say it's not likely they'll be paying more for gasoline in six months, while the same number (11%) is not sure.

Seventy-one percent say it's at least somewhat likely that gasoline prices will rise above $4-per-gallon before the end of the year, including 38% who see this as very likely. Americans shared similar sentiments in January when 70% predicted a rise above $4-a-gallon by July 1. Adults were much more evenly divided in early 2010.

Non-investors are more likely than investors to predict higher gasoline prices in the near future; however, 55% of investors and 60% of non-investors agree they are paying more for gasoline  now than they were six months ago.

Those who work for private companies are more likely than government workers to expect to pay more at the pump.

Past polling shows that voters oppose any increase in the federal gasoline tax even if the money goes only to developing and keeping up Interstate highways.

Even before that, as gasoline prices were climbing in late April, 44% of Americans believed that the government should eliminate the federal gasoline tax completely until prices came down. But 35% disagreed and said the government should not eliminate the tax; 21% weren't sure.

A sizable number of Americans say high gasoline prices have had a significant impact on their daily lives and that they are driving less now than they were a year ago.

But despite the big jump in gasoline prices, Americans are no more enthusiastic than they were a year ago about buying a car that runs on alternative fuel, said Rasmussen.

The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on August 24-25, 2011, by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.

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