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Support for offshore oil drilling plummets after Obama endorses the idea


A new public opinion poll reveals a sudden and unexplained drop in popular support for offshore oil drilling among adult Americans.

The puzzling poll by Rasmussen Reports finds that a healthy majority of Americans (58%) still do support the idea of exploring for new petroleum and energy resources in domestic offshore waters.

However, the number in favor has dropped from 72% after President Obama announced his support of such exploration in March, lifting a years-long ban.

It's probably ridiculous to think the Democratic president has become so unpopular among U.S. voters that simply his endorsement of the offshore oil drilling idea would cause its popularity to plummet like this. But how else to interpret the change?

The inland ex-state senator has since flip-flopped on his support of offshore oil drilling, at least temporarily, pending further study.

The poll of 1,000 adults finds that 19% don't know whether they like the Obama drilling idea and 23% know they don't.

More than two-out-of-three (69%) of respondents are now at least somewhat concerned over possible environmental damage from such exploration activities in deep waters. That number has also changed dramatically since Obama's endorsement announcement, up from 49%.

Go figure.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

Comments () | Archives (6)

The comments to this entry are closed.

LOL... glad I could spot the invisible "sarcasm" tags!

Are you being sarcastic, or really really stupid? The huge oil spill is obviously the cause of this shift in public opinion. The Rasmussen article explains that in the first few sentences.

Could it possibly be that they would rather us drill on land???

Who wrote this? "The puzzling poll...unexplained drop in support" Does he live in a cave? Obviously support has dropped because of the BP oil spill. It's obviously not because Obama endorsed it; it's because there are thousands of gallons of crude oil making its way to our shores.

I have always hated the LA Times (except Calendar) and was a devoted reader of the OC Register. Now I read neither but visit blogs such as The Plum Line and Hot Air.

I gotta give you guys here some props - you're stuff is hilarious! I'll be visiting more often.

Andrew ,
Are you stupid or just a lazy journalist. Obama never started his support for off shore drilling. I ended a ban or exploration. Anyone, liberal or conservative, that thought the\at he was actually going to allow drilling, was miss informed.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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