Local News

Majority of N.C. wants oil drilling, poll finds

Posted September 22, 2008 2:16 p.m. EDT

— More than two-thirds of North Carolina residents favor drilling for oil off the state's coast, according to a poll released Monday.

Offshore drilling was among several issues addressed in the latest Elon University Poll. The poll surveyed 411 people statewide last week and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

The poll found that 68.8 percent support exploring and drilling for oil and natural gas and 78.6 percent said any fuel found in the effort should be reserved for U.S. consumption. More than half of those surveyed said that the companies doing the offshore drilling shouldn't own the rights to the oil.

In other issues, continuing economic instability has cast a pall over the outlook of North Carolinians. A third of respondents said they expected the national and state economies to improve next year, while 37.7 percent said they expected the national economic picture to get worse and 27 percent said the state economy would continue to decline, according to the poll.

Sixty-seven percent of those polled said they disapproved of President George W. Bush's handling of the economy.

Almost half of those polled said they would support a federally funded system for universal health care coverage, while 41.6 percent were opposed to such a plan. Forty-two percent of respondents said they thought a universal system would hurt them rather than help them, according to the poll.

Two-thirds of North Carolina residents are opposed to proposals to allow illegal Latino immigrants to remain in the U.S. even if they have jobs, according to the poll. More than 60 percent of respondents said illegal immigration is a very important issue, and 58.4 percent said Latino immigration has been bad for the U.S.