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Opposition To Offshore Drilling Ban Rises to 55%

Gas prices have been rising dramatically in recent days, and opposition to President Obama's continuing ban on oil drilling off the Eastern seaboard and in the eastern portion of the Gulf of Mexico is up from early December when the policy was first announced.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 55% of Likely U.S. Voters now oppose the president's seven-year ban on offshore oil and gas drilling in part of the Gulf and along the East coast. That's a seven-point increase from 48% three months ago.  Thirty percent (30%) favor the offshore ban, down five points from the previous survey. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided about it. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Two-out-of-three voters (67%) now support offshore oil drilling, up from 60% in the December survey. Most voters have consistently supported offshore drilling for several years now, but this is the highest level of support since the BP leak erupted in the Gulf last April. Twenty-two percent (22%) oppose such drilling, while 11% are not sure.

When the president lifted the longstanding moratorium on offshore drilling last March, 72% agreed with his decision. But he quickly reinstated it when the leak took place. Since then, support for offshore drilling has ranged from 56% to 64%.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls).  Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. 

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on February 28-March 1, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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