|40% Still Support New Nuclear Plants In U.S., 38% Oppose|
18/03/2011 07:40 (797 Day 20:12 minutes ago)
The FINANCIAL -- Voters are now evenly divided when asked if more nuclear power plants should be built in this country.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 40% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the building of more nuclear plants in the United States, the lowest level of support in nearly three years of surveying. Thirty-eight percent (38%) are opposed. Twenty-three percent (23%) are undecided.
The survey was taken Monday and Tuesday evenings as the situation at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan continued to deteriorate, threatening to release dangerous levels of radiation.
Forty-nine percent (49%) favored the building of new nuclear plants in February of last year when President Obama announced an $8.3-billion government loan guarantee to build the first such plant in this country in over a quarter of a century. At that time, only 27% were opposed, with 24% undecided.
In surveys since 2008, support for building more nuclear plants has ranged from a low of 47% to a high of 58%. Opposition has run from 25% to 35%.
There was a similar drop-off in support for offshore oil drilling last year following the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, but, with gas prices soaring at the pump, support has rebounded to a new high of 67%.
With the ongoing nuclear plant crisis in Japan, 60% of voters now also are at least somewhat concerned about the safety of nuclear power plants in the United States, with 28% who are Very Concerned. Thirty-eight percent (38%) don’t share that concern, but that includes just seven percent (7%) who are Not At All Concerned.
Voters have mixed feelings about government regulation of the nuclear power industry. Ten percent (10%) say there’s too much government regulation of it, while 30% feel there’s not enough. Forty-one percent (41%) say the level of regulation is about right. Nineteen percent (19%) are not sure.
Fifty-one percent (51%) of male voters still think more nuclear plants should be built in the United States, a view shared by just 29% of female voters. Older voters are more supportive of new plants than younger voters are.
Fifty percent (50%) of Republicans and a plurality (41%) of voters not affiliated with either major party favor the construction of more nuclear power plants. A plurality (48%) of Democrats are opposed.
Members of the president’s party also express a lot more concern than the others about the safety of existing U.S. nuclear plants.
Forty-six percent (46%) of Democrats say there is not enough government regulation of the nuclear power industry, but just 19% of GOP voters and 25% of unaffiliateds agree.
By a 44% to 38% margin, Mainstream voters support the building of more nuclear power plants in this country, but 54% of the Political Class oppose any new plants. The Political Class also sees a greater need for more government regulation of the nuclear power industry.