Poll: Obama, BP Should be Doing More on Gulf Spill

AP/CBS

AP/CBS

CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.


A significant majority of Americans believe both President Obama and British Petroleum are not doing enough to clean up the massive oil spill that has spewed up to 46 million gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico, according to a CBS News poll released Friday.

Sixty-three percent of those surveyed said the Obama administration should be doing more in response to the spill, while 28 percent believe the government is doing all it can. BP scored slightly worse - 70 percent feel the company should be doing more while 24 percent believe it's doing everything possible to contain the crisis.

However, while the poll indicates Americans believe more should be done, the overall approval ratings for the Obama administration and BP are little changed from a similar poll last week, if slightly improved.

Special Section: Disaster in the Gulf

Forty-four percent of respondents disapprove of the White House's handling of the spill, with 38 percent satisfied with the government's response. Those figures were 45 percent and 35 percent, respectively, a week ago.

For BP, 68 percent disapprove of the company's handling of the disaster, with just 21 percent approving. Last week, those numbers were 70 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, BP's latest efforts to cap are going according to plan, despite the fact that oil could still be seen leaking from the containment device, a company executive said.

"We do have the cap successfully in place. ... And the oil you see escaping right now is actually part of the design," BP's chief operating officer Doug Suttles told CBS "The Early Show" Friday. "What we have is four vent valves on the top of this cap. We'll be successfully closing those vent valves through the course of the day."

Suttles said the valves have been left open to avoid drawing water into the containment device. The company will begin closing the vents in an effort to "capture the vast majority of the flow," Suttles said.

Suttles said the goal is to capture more than 90 percent of the flow, which has spewed between 21 million and 46 million gallons of oil since the April 20 explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig precipitated the disaster.

As anger mounts in coastal areas affected by the spill, Mr. Obama plans to visit the region Friday for a third time since the leak started April 20.

Read the Complete Poll


This poll was conducted among a random sample of 960 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone June 1-3, 2010. Phone numbers were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

  • Daniel Carty

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