June 19th, 2008
04:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Poll: Majority of Americans favor oil drilling in off-limits areas

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/06/19/bush.mccain.energy/art.offshore.oil.gi.jpg caption="Pres. Bush and Sen. McCain favor ending the federal ban on off-shore oil drilling."]
(CNN) – A new Gallup poll suggests more than half of the country may support a proposal backed by President Bush and Sen. John McCain to allow states to authorize off-shore oil drilling, a practice currently banned by the federal government.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans favor allowing oil drilling in coastal and wilderness areas that are currently off-limits. Forty-one percent of Americans oppose allowing drilling in those areas, and 2 percent have no opinion.

The poll also reveals a partisan divide on the issue. Eighty percent of Republicans surveyed favored opening up off-limits areas to oil exploration and 56 percent of independents favored allowing the practice. But 59 percent of Democrats opposed the idea.

During the last week, the prospect of oil drilling off the U.S. coast has become into a major policy dispute between Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama, respectively the presumptive Republican and Democratic nominees, and between Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill.

The Gallup survey involved telephone interviews nationally with 1,013 adults aged 18 and older and was conducted May 19-21. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • Polls • President Bush
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. Total Northern California Democrat for Obama

    Frank from SF said it brilliantly. There is nothing to add. Thank you, Frank.

    June 19, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  2. kids matter most

    sure,may as well finish off the planet,now,and get it over with.i hope you people aren't parents.more concerned with your own lazy greed,and addiction to oil,than you are with the mess we're making out of our children's home.how sad.we deserve what we get.

    June 19, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  3. Pepou

    It is very disheartening to hear that Americans would rather destroy their environment and beautiful country than change their lifestyle. This earth is the future of our children. To destroy it is a crime !

    June 19, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  4. Roger from CA

    I just shake my head in sad wonderment at the "well, times have changed" argument against the moratorium on drilling. I'm sorry, but if the premise of the moratorium is that there is a greater good and value placed on the integrity of our environment and vistas than in the relative little oil we can gain by messing with all that, how sad it is when some bump in the price of oil somehow makes that original premise "out of date."

    Was the value we placed on the eternal beauty of our oceans and beaches so low that $4/gallon is enough for us to chuck it all out the window???

    June 19, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  5. Alice

    Sure, because they think it will cause gas prices to go down in the immediate future. No one's talking about the longer range consequences.

    June 19, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  6. Bella from Florida

    We could have started drilling a long time ago. What is everyone waiting for. There is great technologhy available to do so without damaging the environment. I am tired of the democrats blocking everything and saying that we would not see the oil for 10 years. I believe if we do the Saudis and Opec would be forced to lower their prices. It would scare the heck out of them. So Yes, we should start drillin in our country.

    June 19, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  7. Billiam

    There is no shortage. There is only market manipulation. Bush is oilman, you go figure. Oil prices are bringing the country to its knees.
    Is Bush trying to resolve the problem? No! If you want to see Bush act, say something about raising minimum wage.

    June 19, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  8. Jeremy-Columbus, OH

    I used to have an appeal towards McCain, however forget it now. The man has completely gone backwards in the last two days I don't want hear him speak anymore. Drilling here will not solve anything, especially right away. It will take years to get this oil, more than likely ruin areas of this planet that are beautiful, and line every oil executives pockets with even more money. Give me a break Republicans how stupid do you think people are?

    June 19, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  9. Constance

    Are you kidding me? Where did they go to do this poll, the lunch-room at Exxon Headquarters?? People really can't be this dumb. Have you looked out your car windows lately? We are swimming in our own filth. Enough is enough!!!

    June 19, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
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