56% Support Offshore Drilling; 47% Favor Deepwater Drilling, Too

RasmuRept A poll released today by Rasmussen Reports reveals that since the recent cap on the Gulf oil spill, Americans are still more in favor of offshore (56%) and deepwater (47%) drilling than against it, yet they also have concerns about the environment as well. 72% are at least a little concerned that new offshore oil
drilling will cause environmental problems, up eight points from last
month. The poll also revealed that the state of the economy is far more important in terms of how Americans will vote in November, versus the government's response to the leak.

Posted July 20, 2010

By Rasmussen Reports

With the deepwater oil leak apparently capped after three months of
gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, support for both offshore oil drilling
and drilling further out in deepwater remains largely unchanged. Most
voters also remain concerned about the potential environmental impact of
new drilling.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% of U.S.
Voters now believe offshore oil drilling should be allowed, while 26%
oppose it. One-in-five voters (19%) are undecided.

That’s down from 60% last month.  Since the oil rig explosion that caused
the massive oil leak, support for offshore drilling has ranged from 56%
to 64%.

The rig that exploded was drilling in deepwater, and 47% of voters
continue to support deepwater drilling. Thirty-one percent (31%) say
deepwater drilling should not be allowed, but another 22% are not sure.

This finding shows virtually no change from last month when 49% expressed support for deepwater drilling

Still, 72% are at least somewhat concerned that new offshore oil
drilling will cause environmental problems, up eight points from last
month. That includes 39% who are Very Concerned. Only 26% show little
concern, with five percent (5%) who are Not At All Concerned.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on July 18-19, 2010
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
. See methodology.

Only 34% of voters say the government’s response to the Gulf oil leak is
at least somewhat important in terms of how they will vote this
November. That’s up slightly from last month 

but lower than the level of importance attached to all ten issues tracked regularly by Rasmussen Reports. 

Eighty-three percent (83%) consider the economy Very Important in terms
of how they will vote.

Male voters are more supportive of both offshore and deepwater drilling
than women are.

Eighty-two percent (82%) of Republicans and 60% of voters not affiliated
with either party say offshore drilling should be allowed. A solid
plurality of Democrats (45%) disagree.

Similarly, 50% of Democratic voters oppose deepwater drilling, while 68%
of Republicans and 51% of unaffiliateds favor it.

Sixty-one percent (61%) of Mainstream voters support offshore drilling,
but the Political Class is evenly divided over the question.

The oil leak continues to command the attention of most voters, with 89%
saying they are following news reports about it at least somewhat
closely. That includes 46% who are following Very Closely.

While all have coastlines on the Gulf, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi are dependent on the oil industry for
revenue and jobs, and voters in those states are much more supportive of
both offshore and deepwater drilling that voters nationwide.

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