Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Poll: Florida voters want to decide whether to ban offshore oil drilling

Nearly three-quarters of Floridians support giving the state's voters a chance to decide whether to permanently ban offshore oil drilling, a new poll shows.

The Quinnipiac University survey — which comes a week after the Florida Legislature rejected Gov. Charlie Crist's proposal to put a referendum on the ballot — shows that 72 percent of voters support such a move.

The poll results show that after more than 100 days of dealing with the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Floridians who had been leaning toward allowing drilling in state waters have now largely turned against it.

"Voters are obviously wary of offshore oil drilling given what's happened in the gulf," said Quinnipiac pollster Peter A. Brown.

The poll suggests the referendum might have passed had it been on a ballot: 62 percent said they support an amendment to the Florida Constitution to ban drilling within 10 miles of the coast. Though support for oil drilling had increased in recent years as gas prices spiked, the latest poll shows a little more than half — 51 percent — oppose increasing the amount of offshore drilling.

However, Brown said it was unclear whether the issue would prove to be a factor for Crist's independent bid for the U.S. Senate.

"Whether it will be pressing on Election Day, that's another question," Brown said.

Still, nearly half of those polled agree that there "is no need'' for a constitutional amendment because offshore oil drilling is already barred by state law — the position taken by legislative leaders opposed to Crist's call for a constitutional ban.

The Republican-led Legislature had dismal job-approval ratings in the poll, but it was the same 30 percent approval rating as registered in June, Brown said.

The newest poll was conducted July 22-27, just days after the Legislature shot down the drilling proposal and after BP officials announced they had secured a temporary cap to stem the gushing oil from the well.

"The Legislature's popularity is awful, but it's always awful," Brown said. "Legislatures are always lower than the executive branch."

With the gusher in the gulf capped for two weeks, the survey shows a slight uptick in President Barack Obama's ratings: 44 percent approved of his response to the oil spill — compared to 37 percent who disapproved in June.

The same went for Obama's overall job-approval rating. Just 46 percent approved of his job performance, an improvement from his 40 percent approval rating in the June poll. And, mirroring national polls, it shows support for the health care bill edging up, from 34 percent approval in June to 36 percent approval.

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson gets a 46 percent job-approval rating, while just 21 percent of voters approved of the job that Republican Sen. George LeMieux is doing.

The poll of 969 voters carries a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points.

Times/Herald staff writer Craig Pittman contributed to this report.

Poll: Florida voters want to decide whether to ban offshore oil drilling 07/30/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 30, 2010 11:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.