Washington (CNN) – Many Americans believe that some beaches and wildlife affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will never recover, according to a new national poll. Also, more than four in five think the oil spill will hurt the country's economy, with 79 percent adding that American consumers will see a jump in gas and food prices.
A USA Today/Gallup survey released Wednesday also suggests a gender gap on the issue, with women respondents much more pessimistic than men. Six out of ten women say some beaches will never recover, compared to 37 percent of men. And 65 percent of females say some species may never return to pre-spill levels, compared to 52 percent of male respondents.
The poll indicates that overall, 59 percent of the public thinks that normal levels for some species hurt by the environmental catastrophe may never recover, with another one in five saying that it could take ten or more years for such species to recover. Forty-nine percent of people questioned say that some of the affected beaches will not recover, with another one in four adding that it will take a decade or longer for such beaches to return to normal.
According to the survey, only a small minority thinks it will take four years or less for some beaches and species to return to normal.
The USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted June 11-13, with 1,014 adults questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.