A Majority of Voters Favors Offshore Drilling and Nuclear Energy PoliciesJanuary 20, 2011
Over three-fifths of voters say we need more offshore drilling, including a majority of Democratic voters. Voters overall agree that “we should not let one bad accident in the Gulf divert us from the importance of more offshore drilling to create jobs and make us less dependent on foreign oil” by a 63 to 33 percent margin, including a 51 to 42 percent margin among Democrats, a 62 to 33 percent margin among Independents, and a 79 to 18 percent margin among Republicans.
Since our national survey last June, voter support has increased for the conservative statement on offshore drilling (63 to 33 percent today compared to 56 to 37 percent last June). The net 11-point swing in favor of additional offshore drilling is similar to the net increase among Independents (62 to 33 percent today compared to 56 to 36 percent last June). The majority support now found among Democrats for the conservative argument represents a net 15-point shift since last June. At that time, Democrat voters agreed 50 to 44 percent that “the Gulf oil spill shows the danger and enormous environmental damage of offshore drilling; we should stop any new offshore wells from being developed.”
Voters agree that we should provide loan guarantees to stimulate construction of more nuclear plants, and open the Yucca Mountain storage facility in Nevada for nuclear waste. Voters agree with this statement, rather than the government should not encourage the building of more nuclear power plants in the U.S. by a 52 to 40 percent margin overall, including a 54 to 37 percent margin among Independents and a 65 to 28 percent margin among Republicans. Democrats agree with the anti-nuclear statement by a 51 to 39 percent margin.