1/5th of Americans Still View BP Favorably


Image via the US Coast Guard

According to a Rasmussen poll, not all Americans are angry with BP, despite the fact that the company has put thousands of people out of work, and the still-uncontrolled spill in the Gulf. In fact, a full 22% evidently still view the oil giant favorably. Which to me, is a pretty surprising number. It's not that I expected everyone to immediately turn to outrage at the company (though that recourse seems justified...), but a full fifth of Americans still viewing BP favorably? Who are these people? Enviroknow's Josh Nelson analyzed the poll's results to find out. He made up this graph to display the results:


According to Nelson,

Those most likely to view BP favorably are, respectively: Republicans, Conservatives, American Over Age 65, Whites and Males. Those least likely to view BP favorably are, respectively: Liberals, Blacks, Democrats, Americans Between the Ages of 18-29 and Females.
This breakdown should come as a surprise to few -- conservative, wealthy white males have long been the demographic most likely to support offshore drilling (and not-so coincidentally, oppose clean energy legislation). Which is precisely what Nelson found in regards to those who still think BP is the bee's knees (sorry, trying to use language those supporters would understand ...):
Interestingly, the demographics of those most likely to view BP favorably lines up closely with the demographics of those who supported offshore drilling in early April, prior to the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. An analysis I conducted on April 8th found that offshore drilling was most popular among Republicans, the Elderly, Whites and Wealthy Americans.
Not exactly rocket science here: for those most fervently in favor offshore drilling, not even a disastrous 40 million gallon spill in the Gulf will change that stance. And admitting BP messed up, and is continuing to mess up, would in turn lead to the admission that offshore drilling is not quite as great as Republican sloganeers insist it is. Looking favorably upon BP is a thinly veiled stand-in for persistent staunch support of expanding offshore drilling -- in the face of what can and did go wrong. The two strands of thought appear inextricable.

Finally, a few more fun facts about BP's cheering squad:

  • Conservatives are four times more likely to view BP favorably as Liberals are

  • Republicans are more than twice as likely to view BP favorably as Democrats are

  • Whites are nearly twice as likely to view BP favorably as Blacks are

I shouldn't have to say again that I find it pretty stunning that there are people who continue to view BP favorably -- beyond just 'not negatively', remember, and actually closer to "this company is doing a good job." But for the purpose of moving forward with legislation that will prevent this kind of disaster from happening again in the future, it helps to know who they are.

More on the BP Gulf Spill
Surprise! The BP Gulf Spill is as Big as these Nations and States
Gulf Spill Exclusive: Shocking Marine Life Destruction and Angry Locals
BP Gulf Oil Spill Officially the Worst in US History

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