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Tornado Relief Poll Finds Most In Favor Of Federal Help, Few Want Offsets

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American support for federal disaster relief programs is high, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. And if a disaster aid bill is needed for those hit by the Moore, Okla., tornado earlier this week, most don’t think other programs should be cut to fund it.

According to the new poll, 59 percent of Americans think that any disaster relief for the area affected by the Moore tornado should be funded separately from existing programs, while only 23 percent said it should be offset by spending cuts to other programs.

Seventy-two percent of Democrats, along with 53 percent of both Republicans and independents, said that disaster funding should come separately from other programs.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has said that any additional money budgeted for relief should be offset by cuts to other programs. It now appears unlikely that an additional bill will be necessary, largely because of a Hurricane Sandy Aid bill that both Coburn and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) opposed.

Respondents to the poll were divided over criticisms leveled by Coburn and Inhofe on how the Sandy aid money was spent. Thirty-four percent said that it was spent very or somewhat effectively, while another 37 percent said it was spent not very or not at all effectively. Twenty-eight percent said they don't know enough about that aid package to say.

Overall, the survey finds that 67 percent of Americans think the federal government should assist communities impacted by national disasters, while 18 percent said that disaster relief funding should be left to the states.

After Hurricane Sandy hit New York last October, another HuffPost/YouGov poll found that 61 percent of Americans said they think the federal government should help provide disaster relief.

Most Americans (68 percent) said they've heard a lot about the Moore tornado, while another 28 percent said they've heard a little. Only 4 percent said they've heard nothing at all about the tornado.

The poll was conducted May 21-22 among 1,000 adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling.

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May 2013 Central U.S. Tornadoes (GRAPHIC IMAGES)
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