By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The average for a gallon of gas is $3.31 — that’s about 20 cents more than just a day ago.

Drivers think the hike might have something to do with the election.

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“Well, it has to have something to do with politics, it went down during the walk to the White House, and now it’s going back up,” Danette Loving said.

Chantell Karney said, “Just like the stock market took a bit of a tumble yesterday, I’m sure the sudden price in gas increase has more to do with regular election stuff.”

But experts aren’t so sure. Some experts say it doesn’t matter who is in office.

An Obama administration that favors tougher oil regulations could boost oil prices. But an Republican administration that supports major oil companies could also drive up prices.

Marketing expert George John doesn’t think the election has anything to do with the jump at the pump.

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He says it’s hard to predict gas prices because there are so many factors to consider.

“Some of it is what we’ve done in terms of regulations, and some of it is just what’s happened globally in the economy,” he said.

He said there’s nothing we can really do about gas prices.

“It’s a product we all have to use,” John said. “And we get stung by it when the prices go up — that’s why we’re so hyper-sensitive to it.”

The good news is gas prices usually plummet in November as demand declines, and because refineries are producing a less expensive winter-blend gas.

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And, if you figure in inflation, we’re really not paying much more than we were back in 1980, according to a report by the U.S Energy Department.

Esme Murphy