51 Percent of Floridians OK Drilling 100 Miles Off Shore

Overall, a poll shows that most Floridians are opposed to drilling closer to shore.

The poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute found that Floridians support lifting a ban on oil drilling 100 miles or more from the state's Gulf Coast beaches by a 51 to 42 percent majority, and many say rising gas prices are what changed their minds.

The results are stunning environmentalists who are counting on opposition in coastal states to deflect growing support for offshore drilling. The U.S. House just last week rejected proposals to open more offshore areas to drilling, but those efforts are expected to continue.

The poll also shows Floridians almost equally divided on another energy matter, favoring construction of a new nuclear power plant, but they were opposed to building such a plant in their hometown.