June 18th, 2010
02:50 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN Poll: Half say Gulf will never recover

A new CNN poll indicates that most Americans think the situation in the Gulf of Mexico is still out of control.

A new CNN poll indicates that most Americans think the situation in the Gulf of Mexico is still out of control.

Washington (CNN) - Nine in ten Americans say that the situation in the Gulf of Mexico is still out of control, but roughly half say that it is not getting any worse, according to a new national poll.

But will the oil spill get any better?

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday indicates that about half the public says that the Gulf will eventually recover, with half saying that will never happen.

Full Results [pdf]

According to the poll, opposition to increased offshore drilling has grown 10 points since May and is now twice as high as it was in 2008. Fifty-eight percent of those questioned support a six-month moratorium on new drilling in the Gulf and other offshore sites; 68 percent favor increased regulation of the oil industry in this country.

"There is a gender and generation gap on offshore oil drilling - women and younger Americans are less likely to support drilling offshore and more likely to support a moratorium," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Measures that directly target BP are also popular - 63 percent favor lifting the liability cap on BP and 53 percent would support criminal charges against some BP employees or executives.

The public also likes the ideas on alternative energy sources that President Obama outlined in his prime-time speech Tuesday night. Seven in ten favor Obama's proposals to reduce the amount of oil and other fossil fuels that are produced or used in the U.S., and large majorities think those proposals will increase jobs in the U.S. and make life better for the next generation of Americans.

"More than three-quarters of Democrats and Independents support Obama's ideas on this topic. Republicans are split, 46 percent to 46 percent, on them," says Holland. "But most Republicans do say that Obama's proposals would increase jobs and help the next generation."

The survey was the first national poll conducted entirely after the president's address on the oil spill to the American people. Obama's speech directly followed his fourth trip to the Gulf Coast since the environmental disaster began on April 20.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Wednesday, June 16, with 534 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: CNN Polls • Oil spill
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. sammieb51

    I am one of those that hopes and prays it recovers - do I think that will be in time for 2011 summer season? No. It will take time. I am hopeful that the local economy dependent on fishing and tourism will find some other avenues to grow into to develop the economic base a bit. I hope the moratoreum will allow the govt to evaluate the rigs that are out there for the same failings seen on the current rig failure and shut some of them down permanently.
    Everyone who is upset about space travel should start ranting about learning about the oceans since we will probably turn them into 'dead seas' before we know a thumbnail of what they hold.
    I heard years ago, if you think the fight for oil has been bad, wait til the fight for water begins. I say BP jump-started that baby.

    June 18, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. maxine, gulfport, ms.

    I think the boom should be lowered on B.P.'s head. But first
    we all would like this tragic mess cleaned up. I can name
    countless friends and relatives who's livelyhood is stagnated
    by this catastrophy. Revenge can come at a later date.People
    who are not in this area don't seem to realize the importance
    of stopping this gusher as soon as possible. Yesterday would
    not be soon enough.

    June 18, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. Yes, we must!

    This is great news....until Rassmussen comes out with his rethug faux poll stating exactly the opposite!

    June 18, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. Jim In Miami

    yeah – and the 'crackers' down there don't want to miss a day of 'drilling'

    June 18, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. viet nam vet

    This thing reminds me of all the hackling and arguing and
    committee meetings during the Viet Nam War. While the Paris
    Peace Talks were going on people were dying. Almost twenty
    years later we got out. This is like de ja vu.
    And let's not forget the poor souls who lost their lives on that
    rig. At this point the problem of the oil being contained is more
    important than politics. Forget who's democrat and republican.

    June 18, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Der Wolfanwalt

    Good thing reality does not read polls...

    June 18, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Robert

    To say the situcation is not getting worse means that it's not getting better. And if it's not getting better then it's gotta be getting worse. No middle ground here.

    June 18, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. James Fryday

    The poll is meaningless as experts in environment and biology still have too many unknown variables to predict recovery of the gulf. The future is the only poll that counts. Think of the radiation disaster in Russia from the reactor and a poll would be 99% against ever living on that ground again. The gulf is another matter but still a massive environmental disaster.

    June 18, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Hammerer

    BP is blamed for the oil leak in the Gulf. Cutting corners, taking risks, not following rules are all the reasons that the government cries that BP is guilty doing.
    But wait obama's appointiees have signed off on every action as meeting requirements. Where is the outcry? What excuse has these people used for not checking that rules were not followed?
    The government rubberstamped all of BR's paper work. What took so much of these appointiees time that they allowed this disaster to happen?They were watching porn on their government computers. Government at its best.
    Where is the accountability?

    June 18, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. Bruce Rubin

    Its not a matter of what we think it is a matter of what is. The bad part is if they cannot shut it down then the entire ocean will be destroyed.

    June 18, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "this boy couln't lead a monkey to a tree"

    Nope. Nothing to see here. No racism underlying this comment whatsoever. Look over there...shiny thing!

    June 18, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "Good thing reality does not read polls..."

    Or obey ideologues.

    June 18, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. tulsa

    Hello A.J.

    Let me ask you a question .
    How far can you drive your car without gas in the tank

    June 18, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
1 2