New Poll: Climate Deniers Won’t Win America’s Vote
American concern about climate change and support for solutions continues to rise, and it’s getting harder for elected officials to ignore. In a new poll, two out of three Americans (and 48 percent of Republicans) said that a candidate who advocated fighting climate change would be more likely to earn their vote. They were less likely to support a candidate who denied that climate change is caused by humans.
The survey, conducted by The New York Times and Stanford University, also found that 83 percent of Americans believe climate change will be a “very or somewhat serious problem” if nothing is done to cut carbon pollution, and 74 percent said the government should be taking action against climate change. Here again, these views were shared by a majority of Republicans.
All of this should predict a landslide for candidates who run on a platform of climate action. However, the Koch brothers have announced their plans to spend $889 million to support conservative candidates, and they are known to put enormous pressure on politicians to deny climate science and oppose climate legislation.
So it will be more important than ever for climate action supporters to keep sharing the facts, pointing out disinformation, and seeking bipartisan solutions. We need to keep highlighting the ways good climate policies are already boosting our economy. We need to apply what we’ve learned from other successful political campaigns. And we need inspire people to fight for what they clearly want – clean energy, carbon regulations, and a more prosperous and healthier future.
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By Coral Davenport and Marjorie Connelly, Contributors to The New York Times
An overwhelming majority of the American public, including half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times, Stanford University and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future.
In a finding that could have implications for the 2016 presidential campaign, the poll also found that two-thirds of Americans said they were more likely to vote for political candidates who campaign on fighting climate change. They were less likely to vote for candidates who questioned or denied the science that determined that humans caused global warming.
Among Republicans, 48 percent say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports fighting climate change, a result that Jon A. Krosnick, a professor of political science at Stanford University and an author of the survey, called “the most powerful finding” in the poll. Many Republican candidates question the science of climate change or do not publicly address the issue.
Image credit: Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency