Seizing on a recent NBC/WSJ poll (PDF) showing 60% of Americans continue to support offshore drilling, several journalists and pundits have implied that support for offshore drilling has not declined sharply in recent weeks. As I'll show below, this is absolutely false.
Bill Schneider, National Journal:
Nor has the oil spill caused public support for offshore drilling to collapse.
Louise Radnofsky and Jean Spencer, The Wall Street Journal:
Public support for expanding the offshore hunt for energy is sturdy.
Jeffrey Birnbaum, The Washington Times:
Remarkably - at least so far - Americans are not running away from the need to find oil in the sea. According to recent polls, roughly two-thirds of those surveyed believe that offshore oil exploration is still a good idea. And that number has remained relatively steady even after weeks of massive leakage in the Gulf and the creation of an oil slick the size of Maryland.
Others, such as Politico's Dianna Heitz, have sought to downplay the massive drop in support:
While the level of support has fallen, the drop-off has not been as sharp as some had expected, a finding attributed by experts to Americans' overall concern about U.S. energy security.
Six major national polls released in recent weeks show that, in fact, support for offshore drilling has fallen off considerably in the wake of the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico:
Here is what that looks like graphically:
And it isn't just national polls that have shown a major decrease in support for offshore drilling. Several recent statewide polls have had similar findings:
The decline in support for offshore drilling is unequivocal. Pundits and journalists who claim otherwise should be held to account.
Follow Josh Nelson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/enviroknow