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20-24, 2010 • Five years after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf region, 52% of Americans say New Orleans has not yet recovered from the devastation that hurricane caused, but many think the city will eventually bounce back. Most think the federal government could have done more to help in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and there is concern today that the government is not prepared to deal with another hurricane of Katrina’s magnitude. Americans’ image of “The Big Easy” has improved in recent years: 72% have a good image of the city, compared to just 49% four years ago. 49% of Americans think the oil spill in the Gulf will have caused more hardship for Gulf residents in the long run, while 44% think Hurricane Katrina will have caused more hardship.
THE RECOVERY OF NEW ORLEANS AND THE GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE More than half of Americans do not think the city of New Orleans, one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, has recovered from that disaster. Just a third believes the city has mostly recovered. Has New Orleans Mostly Recovered From Hurricane Katrina? Yes 35% No 52 On a more positive note, among those who say New Orleans has still not recovered, 63% think that the city will eventually rebound. Will New Orleans Ever Recover From Hurricane Katrina? (among those who say New Orleans has not yet recovered) Yes 63% No 34 Looking back, Americans are critical of the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina. 63% think the government could have done more to help the city of New Orleans, while just 31% say the government has done all it could reasonably be expected to do. Has the Federal Government Done All it Could Have to Help New Orleans? Could have done more 63% Done all it could do 31
In addition, most Americans (60%) think New Orleans should receive additional federal government aid because of the damage it sustained as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Should New Orleans Receive More Government Aid to Help Rebuild? Yes 60% No 30 There are differences by political party when it comes to the government’s response to the disaster and whether New Orleans should get more government aid. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say the government could have done more to help, and that New Orleans deserves more government aid. And Americans express concern that the government would not be able to handle another Hurricane Katrina. Nearly six in 10 do not think the federal government is adequately prepared for a hurricane similar to that of Katrina. Americans across all demographic groups are in agreement. Is the Federal Government Adequately Prepared to Deal with Another Hurricane Katrina? Yes 34% No 59 When Americans are asked to choose which of three factors was the biggest contributor to the destruction in New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina, 34% choose poor construction of the levees, followed by 24% who say poor handling of the emergency by the government, and another 21% who choose lack of services like transportation. Which One Was the Biggest Contributing Factor to the Destruction in New Orleans Caused by Hurricane Katrina? Poor construction of the levees 34% Poor handling of the emergency 24 Lack of services 21 Combination (vol.) 17 While Americans are critical of the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, more than half 55% - do not think race played a role in the slow response to the tragedy. 19% think that because those who remained in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina were mostly black, that was a major factor in the slow response, while 21% say that was a minor factor. Overall views on this are similar to what they were five years ago, soon after Hurricane Katrina hit. Did Race of Those Left Behind Affect Officials' Response Time? Now 9/2005 Yes, major factor 19% 21% Yes, minor factor 21 16 No, not a factor 55 59 While most think New Orleans has yet to recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, 72% of Americans have a good image of the Birthplace of Jazz, an increase of 23 points from August 2006, a year after Hurricane Katrina made landfall.
Image of New Orleans Now 8/2006 Good 72% 49% Bad 19 42 THE OIL SPILL IN THE GULF A more recent event has again ravaged the nations’ Gulf Coast region -- the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Most Americans think the Gulf area will eventually recover from both the environmental and economic damage caused by the oil spill. About one in five say the area may never recover from that damage. Will the Gulf Recover from the… ? Environmental Economic Damage Damage 20% 16% 71 79 5 4
No, may never recover Yes, will eventually recover Damage not bad now
Americans are divided as to which tragedy will cause more hardship for Gulf residents in the long run: Hurricane Katrina or the oil spill in the Gulf. 49% think the oil spill will cause more hardship, while 44% choose Hurricane Katrina. In the Long Run, Which will have caused More Hardship for Gulf Residents? Hurricane Katrina 44% Oil spill in the Gulf 49 As the federal government’s administrator, Ken Feinberg, takes over the handling of the oil spill claims fund, fewer than half of Americans are confident that BP will fairly compensate those affected by the oil spill. 53% are not confident. Confident BP will Fairly Compensate People Affected by Oil Spill? Now 7/2010 6/2010 Very confident 10% 8% 10% Somewhat confident 34 32 40 Not very/at all confident 53 58 49
This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,082 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone August 20-24, 2010. Phone numbers were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
CBS NEWS POLL Hurricane Katrina: Five Years Later August 20-24, 2010 q36 How confident are you that BP will fairly compensate those affected by the oil spill in the Gulf -- very confident, somewhat confident, not very confident, or not at all confident? ** TOTAL RESPONDENTS ** *** Party ID *** Total Rep Dem Ind % % % % 10 10 8 11 34 43 28 34 31 29 34 31 22 17 28 21 3 1 2 3
Very confident Somewhat confident Not very confident Not at all confident DK/NA
Jul10b % 8 32 33 25 2
q37 From what you know, is the environmental damage caused by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico so severe that the wildlife, like fish and birds, may never recover OR is the damage severe but the wildlife will eventually recover, OR is the damage not all that severe? May never recover Eventually recover Not that severe DK/NA 20 71 5 4 13 72 11 4 27 67 2 4 17 73 4 6
q38 From what you know, is the economic damage caused by the oil spill so severe that the Gulf coast economy, including businesses like fishing and tourism, may never recover, Or is the economic damage severe but the Gulf coast economy will recover, or is the damage not all that severe? May never recover Eventually recover Not that severe DK/NA 16 79 4 1 10 84 5 1 17 77 4 2 19 76 3 2
q39 In the long run, which do you think will have caused more hardship for the Gulf residents, Hurricane Katrina or the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Hurricane Katrina Oil spill Depends (Vol.) DK/NA 44 49 2 5 51 44 2 3 43 48 2 7 41 53 2 4
q40 As far as you know, do you think the city of New Orleans has mostly recovered or mostly not recovered from the effects of Hurricane Katrina? Recovered Not recovered DK/NA 35 52 13 42 41 17 30 64 6 35 51 14
q41 Do you think the city of New Orleans will ever recover from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, or not? ** AMONG THOSE WHO SAID NOT RECOVERED IN Q40 ** *** Party ID *** Total Rep Dem Ind % % % % 63 64 63 61 34 33 34 36 3 3 3 3
Will recover Will not recover DK/NA
q42 Looking back, do you think the federal government has done all it could reasonably be expected to do to help the city of New Orleans recover from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, or could the government have done more? ** TOTAL RESPONDENTS ** 47 20 30 49 76 63 4 4 7
Done enough Could have done more DK/NA
31 63 6
q43 Do you think New Orleans should receive additional federal government aid to help rebuild the city due to the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, or don't you think additional aid is necessary? Should Not necessary DK/NA 60 30 10 51 41 8 76 18 6 54 32 14
q44 Which one of these do you think was the biggest contributing factor to the destruction in New Orleans caused by Hurricane Katrina? 1. Poor construction of the levees by the government, OR 2. Poor handling of the emergency by the government, OR 3. Poverty and lack of services like transportation? Poor construction of levees Poor handling by gov’t Poverty & lack of services Combination (Vol.) DK/NA 34 24 21 17 4 37 20 20 15 8 33 23 22 19 3 33 27 20 17 3
q45 Some people have said that because the people who remained in New Orleans after the hurricane and flooding were mostly African American, help was slow to come, and that if the people who remained left in New Orleans had been mostly white, help would have come faster. Do you think the factor that those who remained in New Orleans were mostly black was a major factor, a minor factor, or not a factor in the government's response in New Orleans? Sep05b % 21 16 59 4
Major factor Minor factor Not a factor DK/NA
19 21 55 5
10 16 72 2
32 21 41 6
13 24 55 8
q46 In general, do you have a good image or a bad image of New Orleans? ** TOTAL RESPONDENTS ** *** Party ID *** Total Rep Dem Ind % % % % 72 65 75 73 19 27 19 13 9 8 6 14
Good image Bad image DK/NA q47 BLANK
Aug06b % 49 42 9
q48 In general, do you think the federal government is adequately prepared to deal with another hurricane similar to Hurricane Katrina, or not? Prepared Not prepared DK/NA 34 59 7 41 50 9 33 63 4 30 62 8
Total Respondents Total Republicans Total Democrats Total Independents
UNWEIGHTED 1082 312 353 417
282 362 438
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