It's becoming increasingly clear in our polling in a few key states that much of the shift in public opinion about offshore drilling because of the oil spill was temporary. Polls we did in Florida and Louisiana over the weekend and North Carolina earlier this month all show support for drilling increasing by pretty good amounts compared to the beginning of the summer.
In Louisiana, despite being at the heart of the spill, voters never showed much ambivalence about drilling. When we polled there in June 77% of voters supported it with 12% opposed for a net +65. Still that margin has widened even further now to +73 with 82% of voters favoring it and 9% against.
In Florida and North Carolina though voters had turned against offshore drilling by the middle of July. Last month we found 51% in Florida opposed to 39% in support and in North Carolina we found 46% opposed and 42% in support. Now we find voters in both states back in support of drilling- 48% for to 44% against in Florida and 50% for to 39% against in North Carolina.
Support for drilling in North Carolina is still down a good bit from what it was pre-spill and although we don't have historical data in Florida and Louisiana I imagine the same is true in both of those places as well. But it doesn't look like the spill has caused a major, lasting shift in public opinion about drilling at least in those states.