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Poll: Most Americans expect $4 gasoline

Almost 80 percent think they will pay that much at the pump this year, and they think it's 'unreasonable'.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- As gasoline prices race past record highs, more than three quarters of Americans think they'll will have to pay over $4 for a gallon this year, according to a poll released Monday.

Seventy-nine percent of people polled said they are either "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to pay over $4 a gallon according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.

But only a quarter of those surveyed said that gasoline is likely to reach $5 per gallon this year, and only 10 percent said it is very likely.

Compared to other things people buy, 81 percent said gasoline costs are "unreasonable."

Industry watchers also say $4 gasoline is likely in several areas of the country, although their opinions are not unanimous.

The telephone poll of 1,028 adult Americans was conducted Friday through Sunday. It has a sampling error of plus-or-minus 3 points.

The poll was released a day after the Lundberg Survey reported that the price of gasoline has hit a record high, averaging $3.07 for a gallon of self-serve regular in the United States.

The previous high, set last August, was $3.03.

When inflation is factored in, the new price falls just short of the all-time high set in March 1981. At the time, gasoline cost $1.35 a gallon -- in today's dollars, that's $3.13 a gallon, said Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the Lundberg Survey.  Top of page