Support for offshore drilling in North Carolina has seen a dramatic decline in the last month. In April 61% of voters said they supported it with only 26% opposed. Now in the wake of the spill in the Gulf support has declined to 47% with 38% of voters against it. This is the first time PPP has ever found less than majority support for drilling in the state.
It's unusual to see that big a change in how North Carolinians feels about a particular issue in such a short period of time, but it's clear the spill has given many voters in the state second thoughts. 50% said it made them less supportive of allowing drilling off the state's coast, compared to 28% who said it made no difference, and 22% who said the spill actually made them more supportive of drilling here.
The decline in support for drilling has come across party lines. There's been a 17 point drop with independents (from 65% support to 48% support), a 16 point one with Democrats (from 52% to 36%), and an 11 point one with Republicans (from 73% to 62%).
Interestingly voters in eastern North Carolina seem to be comparatively unaffected by the recent events. Folks in the 252 and 910 area codes remain supportive of drilling at a rate higher than the rest of the state.
North Carolina's level of support for drilling now runs a good deal behind the national numbers of 55% in support and 30% opposed. It's clear the recent spill hit close to home in our coastal state.
Full results here