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CNN Poll: Support for increased offshore oil drilling on rise


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Washington (CNN) – One year after the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, support for offshore oil drilling has rebounded despite concerns that the federal government cannot prevent another massive oil spill, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that 69 percent of Americans favor increased offshore drilling, with just over three in ten opposed. That 69 percent is up 20 points from last June, while the oil spill was still in progress, and is back to the level of support seen in the summer of 2008.

"Although support for increased drilling in U.S. waters is highest among Republicans, a majority of Democrats also favor it," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Fifty-six percent of Democrats favor more offshore drilling, compared to 70 percent of independents and 86 percent of Republicans."

The survey's release comes one day before the first anniversary of the spill massive BP oil spill, which claimed 11 lives and released over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It was the worst oil spill in the nation's history.

Fifty-seven percent of those questioned say they are not confident that the federal government can prevent another oil spill as big as the one last year, with four in ten saying they are confident that the government can avoid another disaster.

The poll indicates that only one in nine say that the Gulf of Mexico has completely recovered from the disaster, but another 51 percent say that the Gulf will eventually recover.

"Thirty-six percent say the Gulf will never completely recover, but that's down from the 49 percent who felt that way last summer," adds Holland.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted by telephone, with 824 people questioned. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

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