Farm State Voters Want Candidates to Talk Conservation

Farm state voters in swing states like Minnesota see extreme weather, such as droughts and floods, as a significant threat to farming. According to a new poll conducted by Iowa-based RABA Research on behalf of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a majority of these voters say they would be more likely to back a 2020 presidential candidate who proposes ways to help farmers and communities cope by building healthy, living soil. 

  • 67% of Minnesota poll respondents,
  • 64% of Iowa respondents and
  • 57% of Michigan respondents said they would be more likely to support a presidential candidate with such a platform.

More from the study: Overwhelming majorities of voters in each state—as high as 93% in Nebraska and Minnesota—say extreme weather is a significant threat to farmers and communities in their area.

  • When asked specifically if “climate change” is affecting local agriculture, majorities in Iowa (58%), Michigan (63%), Minnesota (65%), and Nebraska (59%), and a plurality in Arkansas (49%) agreed that it is.
  • Notably, 61% of respondents with farmers in their households across the five states also agreed.

Why This Matters: This poll shows that there’s a real opportunity for presidential candidates to talk about the environment and conservation with voters. They cannot shy away from this issue and fail to connect it to the economy. Joe Biden has a strong rural climate action vision that promises to “ensure our agricultural sector is the first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions, and that our farmers earn income as we meet this milestone.” Additionally, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders also address farming issues in their climate plans. Let’s hope that they begin to drive these issues home on the campaign trail. 

Go Deeper: Check out what soil conservation actually entails.



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