Bobby Jones, also 63 and a mechanic from Seven Springs, N.C., supports increased drilling in order to cut dependence on foreign oil. "We have enough (oil and gas) in this country that we can drill for a while and get what we need," Jones said, adding that offshore drilling would help create badly needed jobs in eastern North Carolina.
Jones, an independent, backs Romney in the presidential election, in part because of energy policies, such as his support for a proposed oil pipeline from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast.
Carol Browner, a former head of the Environmental Protection Agency who was Obama's top energy and climate adviser, said the partisan divide over energy makes difficult it to have a thoughtful conversation about what makes sense for the country.
"Ultimately it doesn't matter if you are Democrat or Republican — you pay your energy bill, you buy your fuel-efficient car, and you fill it up," Browner said. To that point, the poll found that 90 percent of Democrats and 87 percent of Republicans say they've done something in the last year to save energy.
The AP-NORC Center poll was conducted March 29 to April 25. It involved landline and cellphone interviews with 1,008 adults nationwide, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Associated Press Deputy Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta and News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report.
AP-NORC poll: http://www.apnorc.org
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