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Florida voters reverse themselves -- 55 percent now oppose oil drilling

Though the oil slick in the Gulf hasn't hit the Florida coast yet, the economic and econological consequences it could have on that state has led to a complete reversal among Florida voters, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll released Friday.

Registered voters were asked on May 3-5: Do you generally support or oppose drilling for oil in the waters off of the coast of Florida? It was more than a week after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and oil began gushing from the ocean floor, and 55 percent responded that they now oppose oil drilling off Florida shores while 35 support it. That's a big flipflop from last June, when 55 percent of voters favored offshore drilling, and 31 percent opposed it.

Opposition appears to be widespread throughout the state said Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker. "Republicans are now the only group to still favor drilling, but even that support has dropped significantly," he said. 

In the lastest poll, 57 percent of Republicans support drilling, a drop from the 80 percent who favored drilling last year. By comparison, support among Democrats has dropped from 36 percent last year to 19 percent now. The biggest decline in Florida has been among independents, 51 percent of whom favored oil drilling last year while only 27 percent support it now.

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