Citing a Rasmussen poll Greg Sargent took note of yesterday, which indicated that 22 percent of Americans currently have a favorable view of BP, Barbara Morrill at Daily Kos asks who these 22 percent of Americans are.

Using the crosstabs from the poll (premium account required), I put together this chart to answer Morrill’s question:

Those most likely to view BP favorably are, respectively: Republicans, conservatives, Americans 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.

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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 8 found that offshore drilling was most popular among Republicans, the elderly, whites, and wealthy Americans. On BP favorability, a few key statistics stick out:

  • 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

Meanwhile, BP’s CEO Tony Hayward is busy thanking the United States for its strong support of the company.

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Below, I’ve broken down the crosstabs by the six criteria Rasmussen provided data for. First, here is how the toplines were presented:

Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of BP? * 4% Very favorable * 18% Somewhat favorable * 39% Somewhat unfavorable * 33% Very unfavorable

The crosstabs include breakouts for gender, age, race, party, ideology and income. Click the screenshots below for larger versions. Gender:

While 26 percent of males view BP favorably, just 20 percent of females do. Age:

While just 16 percent of 18-29 year-olds view BP favorably, 29 percent of those older than 65 years old do so. Although the results aren’t completely linear, a favorable view of BP tends to skew toward older Americans. Race:

25 percent of whites and just 13 percent of blacks have a favorable view of BP. Unfortunately, Rasmussen lumped all other racial groups into the ‘other’ category. Party:

36 percent of Republicans and just 15 percent of Democrats view BP favorably. Ideology:

The largest gap was found between liberals and conservatives. While just 8 percent of liberals view BP favorably, 36 percent of conservatives do. Income:

Income does not appear to be a strong predictor of how Americans view BP. Support among all income groups ranged between 18 percent and 26 percent, with no clear pattern. I’ll be continuing to explore public opinion on offshore drilling, the disaster in the gulf of Mexico and companies/individuals involved in coming days and weeks. If you come across a poll you think I’d be interested in, please let me know.