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. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans


    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  2. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?


    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  3. Judge tosses life sentences for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo


    McLEAN, Va. — A federal judge on Friday tossed out two life sentences for one of Virginia's most notorious criminals, sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings.

    A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper shooter Lee Boyd Malvo. [Associated Press, 2004]
  4. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, dies


    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, participates in Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2009, in Washington, D.C. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
  5. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.