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Shock poll: Young people far more likely than older voters to support bailout for oil industry

Forty percent of younger voters favor the idea and 32% oppose it, while Rasmussen noted that voters over 55 "decisively reject the idea" by a 51% to 23% margin

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The plunge in U.S. crude oil prices this week reverberated across global financial markets.
The plunge in U.S. crude oil prices this week reverberated across global financial markets.
Getty Images
Updated: April 29, 2020 - 1:47pm

Young people are far more likely than older American voters to support a bailout for the oil industry, according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen. Their support comes even as many young people have rallied against oil projects such as the Keystone pipeline and called for divestment away from fossil fuel industry.

"Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, younger voters are more supportive of the proposal than older voters," Rasmussen said. "Despite calls from the populist left to eliminate fossil fuels, a plurality of voters under 55 are OK with financial support for the oil and gas industries."

Forty percent (40%) of these voters under age 55 favor the idea and 32% oppose it, while Rasmussen pointed out that voters over 55 "decisively reject the idea" by a 51% to 23% margin. The support for an oil and gas industry bailout is even more pronounced among the youngest voters, with 45% of 18-24 year olds supporting it and 25% rejecting it. 

"It is impossible to determine the root cause of this particular gap," Rasmussen also said. "Perhaps it has something to do with younger voters being more comfortable with government involvement in the economy. Or it could be that older voters have strong memories of oil embargoes and soaring gas prices."

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Just the News Poll, Should the federal government provide support for the oil and gas industry?
Just the News Daily Poll
With Scott Rasmussen

The Just the News poll found that to help stabilize the economy and ensure the nation’s supply of energy, just 34% of voters overall want the federal government to provide financial support for the oil and gas industry. Thirty-nine percent (39%) are opposed and 26% are not sure.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Congress may step in to help designate the oil industry as vital for national security, paving the way for a possible oil industry bailout, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said earlier this month at a White House media briefing.

Respondents were asked "To help stabilize the economy and ensure the nation’s supply of energy, should the federal government provide financial support for the oil and gas industry?" They replied as below: 

  • 34% Yes
  • 39% No
  • 26% Not Sure

The national survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted April 23-25, 2020 by Rasmussen, a polling veteran. Margin of sampling error: +/- 2.8% for full sample. 

To see the full demographic cross-tabulations for this polling question, click below:

To see the methodology and sample demographics for this polling question, click below: