Positive opinion about the federal government's handling of BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill is down 13 points from two weeks ago, dropping from 29 percent to 16 percent, a new Zogby Interactive survey finds.
Currently, 16 percent rate the federal government's response to the spill as excellent or good. The same question in a May 7-10 Zogby Interactive survey found 29 percent giving a positive rating. Opinion of BP’s handling of the spill is also down from the previous poll, going from positive ratings of 25 percent then to just 15 percent now.
The survey of 2,085 adults, conducted from May 25-27, also asked respondents which of the following descriptions best matched their opinion about the spill's impact:
- Almost 60 percent agreed with the assessment that the spill is "a disaster that will cause long-term environmental and economic damage."
- Nearly 30 percent agreed that it is “a problem that will cause some short-term environmental and economic damage on the Gulf Coast."
- And 11 percent believe that "the potential damage caused by the spill is being exaggerated."
There are significant partisan differences, with 83 percent of Democrats calling the spill a "disaster," compared with 32 percent of Republicans and 51 percent of independents.
Another question from both surveys referred to a statement from the Obama administration that one of its primary roles is, "Keeping the boot on the neck of BP." The number of those who agree with that statement dropped from 42 percent on May 10 to 33 percent now.
Despite the spill, the percentage of adults who agree that "offshore drilling is still a safe, reliable and cost-efficient method of producing oil," remains unchanged from May 10 at 58 percent. Agreement that expansion of offshore drilling will lead to increased environmental problems is also unchanged at 51 percent.