NYT – Gulf residents trust Jindal, Barbour more than Obama on spill

ATLANTA — When it comes to getting information about the BP oil spill, Gulf Coast residents trust Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana more than Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, and they trust Mr. Barbour more than President Obama.

Most of them do not think it is safe to eat local seafood.

More than a third report children with new rashes or breathing problems, or who are nervous, fearful or “very sad” since the spill began. And even though the gusher of oil has been stanched, almost a quarter of residents still fear that they will have to move.

Governor Jindal won praise for both his handling of the spill and for his trustworthiness, with 78 percent of Louisiana residents saying they trusted him “a great deal” or “a good amount.” He was trailed by local officials (75 percent), the Coast Guard (73 percent) and, among Mississippians, Governor Barbour (58 percent). Forty-eight percent of the respondents said they trusted Mr. Obama, and 31 percent said they trusted BP officials.

The survey showed some other differences in attitudes between Mississippi and Louisiana. In Louisiana, fewer than half of the participants said they thought it was not safe to eat gulf seafood. But in Mississippi, where the seafood industry is smaller, three-quarters were of the opinion that local seafood was not safe. Mississippi families were more likely to have cut back on beach trips and fishing than Louisiana families.

New York Times
8/2/10