Latest Polling Data Shows Climate Change Rising on List of Voting

Cover Photo of Report by Yale University and George Mason University 

A new survey shows climate change is rising on the list of issues that will impact who voters select when they go to the polls this year — and for liberal democrats, it is the most important issue.  According to the survey conducted by the Yale and George Mason Universities, 45% of registered voters say a candidate’s position on global warming will be very important when they decide who they will vote for in the 2020 presidential election, which is an increase of 7 percentage points since April 2019.

Why This Matters:  Climate change is a key issue in the election and clearly an issue on which the Democratic candidate can appeal to independent voters, drawing a stark contrast with President Donald Trump.  It is an issue that will play a much larger roll in the general election than it does in the primaries because the differences among the Democrats are relatively narrow — at least as compared to the President, who has no climate plan and yesterday dismissed it again as blown out of proportion by the “perennial prophets of doom” a.k.a. leading global scientists.  Democrats ought to double down on climate change and use it as a wedge — and start talking more about it now so that it becomes a more prominent part of the political conversation once the impeachment trial is behind us.

More Poll Insights

The results of the poll were analyzed and explained in a report also released yesterday entitled “Politics & Global Warming‘” — the key takeaways on various climate-related topics are as follows.

  • They Are Worried:  Two in three registered voters (66%) are worried about global warming, including 94% of liberal Democrats, 88% of moderate/conservative Democrats (an increase of 20 percentage points over the past five years), and 53% of liberal/moderate Republicans.
  • They Want The US to Rejoin Paris: About three in four registered voters (76%; 94% of Democrats, 74% of Independents, and 54% of Republicans) support U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Agreement. Majorities of Democrats (92%) and Independents (66%).
  • They Believe Climate Change Is An Emergency: Many registered voters (62%; 85% of Democrats, 57% of Independents, and 35% of Republicans) would support a U.S. president declaring global warming a national emergency if Congress does not act. Support among all registered voters increased by 17 percentage points during the seven months since our previous survey in April 2019.
  • They Want Their Kids To Learn About It In School:  A large majority of registered voters (79%; 96% of Democrats, 79% of Independents, and 57% of Republicans) support schools teaching children the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to global warming.
  • They Want More Research:  Funding more research into renewable energy sources such as solar and wind (87% of registered voters, 96% of Democrats, 81% of Independents, and 77% of Republicans).
  • They Want More Renewable Energy Developed by the Gov’t: Generating renewable energy on public land in the U.S. (86% of registered voters, 94% of Democrats, 79% of Independents, and 79% of Republicans).
  • They Want Tax Breaks For Clean Cars and Solar Panels: Providing tax rebates to people who purchase energy-efficient vehicles or solar panels (82% of registered voters, 95% of Democrats, 68% of Independents, and 70% of Republicans).
  • They Want Carbon Pollution Controlled: Regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant (75% of registered voters, 92% of Democrats, 62% of Independents, and 59% of Republicans).

To Go Deeper:  You can download and read the full report by clicking here.

Graphic: Report “Politics & Global Warming”

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