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Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Changing Tide

A new Mason-Dixon poll shows a mere 35 percent of Florida voters now support offshore drilling. These are the "We'll Never Learn" voting bloc that Marco Rubio is trying to woo. The new poll numbers are impressive considering a Palm Beach Post poll right before the Deepwater Horizon disaster showed 64 percent in support. Granted, comparing different polls is like checking your weight on different scales, but this drastic a drop is something well outside margins of error.

The question now is how this will translate at the polls. At this point, I'm a bit stunned every statewide politician hasn't run from the oil at high speed.

There is other curious stuff about this poll. Somehow, in the conservative Panhandle, drilling still has a plurality of support even though it is the area closest to the spill right now. I keep wondering if Alabama is running low on idiots, but I know better.

Some are already suggesting this is just a blip, but I think it is worth remembering this oil will be with us for a long time. I'm still mad at Obama for throwing his support to drilling, but that isn't happening in the Gulf of Mexico anytime soon thanks to this spill. Even if the White House hadn't changed posture a tiny bit, you simply can't get out and drill right now when a change in wind could move the slick right onto your drilling site.

And I promise when the Legislature meets next year (the soonest when leadership shows any willingness to discuss drilling), they will deal with opposition like never seen before. I doubt any coastal representatives or senators will consider drilling, and without them, nothing will go through.

We've won this one. Too bad it happened the hard way.

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