Support for offshore oil drilling drops, but majority still supports

Support for offshore drilling dropped in the wake of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, though it is still favored by a majority of voters.

60 percent of registered voters said they favor increasing offshore oil and gas drilling in U.S. coastal areas, according to a Fox News poll released Friday. That's down from a month ago, when 70 percent said they favored increased energy exploration.

President Barack Obama had proposed increasing offshore drilling in March as part of a comprehensive energy plan, but his administration has put on hold any plans for new drilling starts after a BP rig off the coast of Louisiana suffered an explosion, resulting in a massive oil leak.

Senators had intended to introduce an energy and climate bill that would have expanded some offshore drilling. But the spill has prompted some Democrats from coastal states to speak out more forcefully against drilling. Republicans have still mostly voiced support for increasing drilling.

33 percent of respondents said they now oppose increased drilling, up from 22 percent who opposed more offshore exploration last month.

And amidst some Republican complaints that the president had acted too slowly in responding to the oil spill, half of voters believe Obama is handling the oil spill well.

50 percent said they approve of how Obama has handled the oil spill, compared with 29 percent who disapprove. 21 percent said they didn't know how well they thought the president is handling the situation.

The Fox News poll, conducted by Opinion Dynamics from May 4-5, has a three percent margin of error.