Brand New Polling Shows That Climate Moves Voters in Four Key States/Senate Races

Progressive climate policies are more popular in key battleground states — Arizona, North Carolina, Iowa and Maine — than previously understood, according to fresh polling from Data for Progress Indeed, voters in these key Senate races want candidates to deliver “bold climate action” and consider the climate crisis a “Day 1 priority.” Danielle Deiseroth, a Climate Data Analyst at Data for Progress told ODP, “Our polling shows that voters in Arizona, Iowa, Maine, and North Carolina support progressive climate policies and are more likely to vote for candidates that commit to them. Democratic candidates in battleground states that could determine who controls the Senate should lean into a progressive climate agenda.”

Why This Matters:  In these four states, climate change is not a future problem — it is an emergency today.   Hurricane Isaias made landfall this week in North Carolina, but that was just the latest in a series of severe storms that have battered much of the state. Iowa was literally underwater last year and farmers were devastated.  Fishers in Maine know their coastal waters are warming fast.  And Arizona’s heat is literally becoming unbearable.  Vice President Biden’s move to the left on climate policy was a smart political move — as well as being the right policy direction.

Key Findings of the Data for Progress Poll

These poll results may have favored “aggressive climate policies and spending,” as Axios Generate explained.  Nevertheless, the results are striking.

  • The questions covered clean energy, spending, research and science, and job creation. “Voters in the key senate battleground states of Arizona, Iowa, Maine, and North Carolina support a broad range of climate policies and are more likely to support candidates that pledge bold climate action.”

  • Voters are tired of inaction – they know the clock is ticking.  “A plurality of voters in these battleground states (41 percent) think Congress should make addressing climate change a Day 1 priority.”

  • Voters do not see $2 Trillion as a negative.  “A majority of voters (53 percent) support the Biden clean energy investment plan, even after hearing Republican arguments against it.”

  • Environmental and Climate Justice Also Matter To Voters.  “Voters support an ‘Equity Screen’ on all new major federal infrastructure investments to ensure funds go to the communities that need it the most by an overwhelming 49-point-margin.”

A few other key takeaways. Of the four states, Maine was nearly always the most left-leaning, which does not bode well for Senator Collins’ re-election bid.  And on environmental equity and justice, a majority of the poll respondents favored 40% of clean energy infrastructure spending going to low-income communities.  The 100% clean electricity by 2035 target that Vice President Biden and many Democratic candidates support was also favored by a majority (50%) in three of the four states — but in North Carolina, it only polled at 48%.

To Go Deeper:  Check out the entire poll and the cover memo here — it is well worth the read.

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