Local News

Poll: N.C. residents want guns, offshore drilling, video poker

Posted April 26, 2010

— Despite a fatal explosion on an offshore drilling platform last week that led to an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the majority of North Carolina residents continue to favor drilling for oil and gas off the state's coast, according to a poll released Monday.

The Elon University Poll also found that a growing number of state residents want video poker legalized in North Carolina again, few want restrictions on gun ownership and many supported beefing up ethics rules for state workers. The poll surveyed 607 people statewide last week and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

Sixty-three percent of those surveyed support oil and gas drilling off the North Carolina coast, down slightly from the 66 percent who supported the idea a year ago. Part of the poll was conducted after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off the Louisiana coast last Wednesday, killing 11 workers and causing a growing environmental hazard as oil continues to leak from an undersea wellhead.

The majority of respondents also favor increasing the use of nuclear power, federal funding for research into wind, solar and hydrogen power and expanding urban mass transit systems.

Those surveyed were evenly split on whether North Carolina should allow video poker back into the state. Lawmakers banned the games four years ago, except on the Cherokee lands.

Forty-six percent say video poker should be legal, compared with 38 percent a year ago. Still, only 35 percent of respondents said they support making video poker available statewide. Forty-five percent say the games should remain illegal.

On the subject of guns, 49 percent of respondents said people should be allowed to own semiautomatic handguns, and 56 percent said people should be allowed to carry concealed weapons. Only 18 percent support banning handgun sales.

When it comes to proposed ethics rules for state workers, many of those surveyed believe the ideas are good. Gov. Beverly Perdue has called for rules like banning gifts from companies with state contracts, requiring employees to identify conflicts of interest and forcing workers to wait a year after leaving a state agency before lobbying the government or working for a business they used to regulate.

About 20 percent of respondents said the required waiting period for lobbyists and forcing state workers to forfeit their pensions if convicted of felonies tied to their positions would be too strict, while 20 percent said the idea of forcing workers to resign if they were charged with a felony or refused to cooperate with a criminal investigation is too lenient.


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  • rbh330 Apr 29, 2010

    I think they need to run that offshore poll again at the end of this week.

  • jet2rdu Apr 27, 2010

    Guns, video poker and oil drilling sounds like a great combination...

    So, lets get Steve Wynn and T. Boone Pickens together to build a combination “Offshore Western Themed Casino Oil Drilling Platform” and create some 'well' paying jobs.

  • ncguy Apr 27, 2010

    and yet the democrats won the election due to the straight party ticket....

  • blackdog Apr 27, 2010

    Some residents also want fried pork rinds, chewing tobacco, and more guns.

  • K9Tucker.LoveMYcop Apr 27, 2010

    I'm all for the oil and guns, but could live without video poker.

    Buddy1 - My son's AP English teacher does not even use correct grammar. She's a great person, but I don't know what she can possibly be teaching him. My mother, a former English teacher, would roll over in her grave if she heard this lady speak.

  • MissingLink Apr 26, 2010

    icmfal states "Oil rig accidents are rare". But doesn't it only take one bad accident?!
    "It's estimated that 1,000 barrels of crude, or 42,000 gallons, are being released into gulf waters each day." Let's not wait around expectantly for the next ecological disaster elsewhere, but instead this time let's bring it to our shores. Let our birds and fish be covered in oil and let our waters be contaminated for years to come. Let our beaches be lathered in carcinogens. Bring on big oil!

    Dangerous and cancer-causing properties of products and chemicals in the oil refining and petrochemical industry.

  • goose Apr 26, 2010

    This is crazy. To sample 607 to represent the millions in NC ?? Can't be accurate. We'll see how you guys like off-shore drilling when the same thing happens off NC's coast that is happening in the Gulf right now...oil spill.....and don't label me as a treehugger...'cause I'm not....I just happen to enjoy the NC coast and not wanting to take the risk. Sure..your concerned about the price of gas....but Big Oil and the govt can lower the cost if they want....look at the huge profits oil companies are making. Target them...not more drilling and environmental disasters.

  • ykm Apr 26, 2010

    yeah boy, guns,oil and gambling. My kind of folks.

  • wayneboyd Apr 26, 2010

    Yes North Carolina please hurry up and legallize pot I've got 100 acres ready for harvest and I'm going to take the profits off this crop and lobby Raleigh to pass legislation that no restaurant can serve anyone a meal in their establishment if half the patrons aren't pot smokers.

  • Bill Brasky Apr 26, 2010

    "Poll: N.C. residents want guns, offshore drilling, video poker"

    Why did they leave out more Nascar?