WASHINGTON — The Gulf of Mexico oil spill hasn't stained President Barack Obama nor dimmed the public's desire for offshore energy drilling, according to a new Associated Press-GfK Poll...
...[T]he public still supports the idea of drilling offshore for oil and gas. By 50 percent to 38 percent, more people favor increased coastal drilling for oil and gas than oppose it.
While Republicans favor it by a 3-to-1 margin, Democrats lean toward opposing it, 52 percent to 36 percent. Independents are about evenly split. Groups giving drilling the strongest support include men, middle-aged and older people, whites and residents of rural and suburban areas.
The country is split about evenly over which priority is more important in considering drilling, with 49 percent choosing the need for the U.S. to provide its own energy and 47 percent picking protection of the environment.
Democrats prefer environmental protection by 62 percent to 35 percent. Republicans lean the other way, favoring the need for U.S. energy independence by 68 percent to 28 percent. Independents are about evenly split.