Washington (CNN) – The recession and concerns about the economy have dampened public enthusiasm for policies to protect the environment, a new national poll indicates.
According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, 51 percent of Americans say that economic growth should be a higher priority than protecting the environment, even if the environment suffers to some extent, with 45 percent saying that protecting the environment tops the economy, even at the risk of curbing economic growth.
The poll, which was released Wednesday, indicates that attitudes on the issue have changed over the past few years. The 51 percent who say the economy is a higher priority than the environment is up from 37 percent who felt that way in 2006 before the start of the current recession. The 45 percent who now rank the environment as the top concern represents a seven point drop from 2006.
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama unveiled plans Wednesday to open large swaths U.S. coastal waters in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico to oil and natural gas drilling - a move that could please the energy industry but upset the administration's environmental supporters.
The administration plan would include lifting a 20-year ban on drilling off the Virginia coastline, while putting the clamps on sites that had been approved off the southwest coast of Alaska.
(CNN) – Another former governor has announced he wants his old job back this November.
Republican Bob Ehrlich, who lost his re-election bid as Maryland's chief executive in 2006, told supporters in an e-mail Tuesday that he will make another run for the office he held from 2003 to 2007. He will officially kick off his campaign on April 7 with events in heavily Democratic Rockville and in Baltimore County, the area he represented in Congress for eight years.
"Are you ready to take back Maryland?" said Ehrlich in a letter sent to his campaign e-mail list. "Then I hope you'll join me on Wednesday, April 7th as I announce my candidacy for Governor of Maryland."
TOPICS: Environment, economy
(CNN) - Sen. John McCain raised $2.2 million in the first three months of 2010 for his Senate re-election bid, the Arizona Republican's campaign announced Wednesday.
McCain - who faces a conservative challenge from former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, also has $4.5 million cash-on-hand, according to the campaign.
Touting the fundraising haul, McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said it "clearly shows the growing support for his bold leadership in standing and fighting the Democrats' misguided liberal agenda in Washington."
Meanwhile, David Payne - Hayworth's campaign manager - directed CNN to Hayworth's Web site showing the former congressman has raised over $815,000 in the month of March. He declined to give the full first quarter figure but said, "We are very pleased with where we are at."
(CNN) - A new poll suggests that Democrats are on the rise in Ohio, which will hold two important statewide elections this November and is considered a crucial battleground in the race for the White House.
A Quinnipiac University survey of Ohio voters released Wednesday indicates that the two Democratic contenders for their party's Senate nomination have made gains in possible November matchups against Republican Rob Portman. The poll also found that President Barack Obama's approval rating has rebounded, as have opinions of the health care reforms passed by Congress and signed into law by Obama.
According to the poll, 41 percent of Ohio voters support Lt. Gov Lee Fisher and 37 percent back Portman, a former Republican congressman who served as budget director and U.S. trade representative under President George W. Bush, in a hypothetical general election matchup. Fisher trailed Portman by three points in a Quinnipiac survey in February. Both margins are within the poll's sampling error.
(CNN) – Former Sen. Rick Santorum, who is considering a bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, said Tuesday he is "disgusted" with the Republican National Committee for paying for an evening at a racy Hollywood nightclub.
Speaking to a local Republican group in Council Bluffs, Iowa - his second appearance in the Hawkeye State this month - Santorum chided RNC Chairman Michael Steele and suggested that there is an "absence of leadership at the RNC".
"There is no excuse for people's contributions to the RNC to go to pay for this behavior," Santorum said, according to The Iowa Republican. "Frankly, I'm disgusted by it."
Atlanta (CNN) – House Democrats are using the Republican pledge to try and repeal the recently passed health care legislation in a new push to raise money for the midterm elections.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee unveiled a 4 minute 12 second Web video Wednesday featuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and her leadership team reading letters of people that Democrats said "have struggled with the high cost of health insurance." The video also features past presidential efforts to provide health care.
"Defenders of the status quo are already plotting to repeal this landmark legislation, and big-money special interests have already put a stunning $100 million behind a campaign to attack courageous Democrats who supported reform," the DCCC writes in the fundraising pitch. "Now more than ever we must stand together and show the world that Democrats are united and strong."
Atlanta (CNN) – Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, will announce Wednesday that she will not retire and will stay in the Senate until her term ends in 2012, a Republican familiar with the announcement tells CNN.
"She is going to say she is staying through her term," said the GOP source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, because the source was not authorized to speak on behalf of the senator.
Hutchison unsuccessfully sought the Republican Texas gubernatorial nomination, losing to Gov. Rick Perry earlier this month. National and Texas Republicans have urged Hutchison to stay in office, even though she pledged during the gubernatorial primary that she would leave the Senate.