Off-Shore Drilling a Winning Message for McCain, But Other Energy Proposals Garner Even More Enthusiasm

Roughly 60% of Independents say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported easing restrictions on off-shore drilling, according to a recent Gallup survey (figure above). But the survey also shows that there's an even stronger positive response when Americans are asked about voting for a candidate who favors establishing tax incentives to reward energy conservation; who favors raising fuel mileage standards; or who favors authorizing a $150 billion dollar investment in the development of renewable energy technology.

Yet off-shore drilling remains a winning message for McCain since it is the one dimension of the two candidate's energy proposals that he can draw a contrast on.

Investing in nuclear energy, on the other hand, doesn't generate nearly as much of an enthusiastic response from voters, with only 47% of all Americans saying they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who backed expanded nuclear power, and only 48% among Independents (figure below).

Whoever is elected president, nuclear energy is likely to be a battle. The more hardline environmental groups are likely to strongly protest the inclusion of nuclear in any energy bill, potentially paralyzing the legislative process.


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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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