Support for offshore drilling has dropped in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and a majority of Americans give negative marks to the federal government and BP, the company that leased the rig, for their response to the environmental disaster, according to a Pew Research Center poll
conducted May 6-9.
The percentage of Americans in favor of offshore drilling fell from 63 percent in February to 54 percent after the spill. In April 2009, 68 percent had back offshore exploration and drilling.
A CBS News poll
, also conducted May 6-9, also found a drop in support for offshore drilling. Forty-six percent favor it while 41 percent said the risks were too great, compared to August of 2008 when 62 percent favored it and 28 percent said the risks were too great.
In the Gallup poll, there was a pronounced partisan divide in these results. Seventy-six percent of Republicans back offshore drilling, actually a 2 point increase since February, while the number of Democrats who support it dropped from 54 percent to 41 percent in the same period. Fifty-three percent of independents support offshore drilling, compared to 66 percent in February.
Those negative marks were comparable to the public's dim view of the federal government response to Katrina in 2005 when 58 percent rated it poor or only fair.
However, President Obama did not fare as badly as former President Bush when the public's grading of their responses to each disaster were compared. Thirty-six percent said Obama has done all he could compared to 28 percent for Bush. Forty-seven percent said Obama could have done more compared to 67 percent for Bush.
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