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Fewer Consumers Hate BP

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For a company in BP's position following the oil spill, it must count as progress to be disliked rather than despised. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll suggests the company is moving in that direction.

Conducted late last month, the survey asked respondents to categorize their "feelings" toward a number of public figures and institutions, including BP.

Three percent were "very positive" and 9 percent "somewhat positive" in their feelings about the company; 24 percent were "neutral." On the hostile end of the spectrum, 20 percent were "somewhat negative" and 30 percent "very negative," with the remaining 14 percent declining to choose.

While these numbers scarcely constitute an all-is-forgiven attitude, the "very negative" number is down substantially from June, when (as oil continued to gush from the broken well) it stood at 44 percent, along with 23 percent "somewhat negative."

Then again, the "very negative" number is worse than it was in early May (23 percent, along with 22 percent "somewhat negative"), when the spill was still in its infancy.