Another poll shows narrative on climate change is dead wrong

Last week a campaign spending analysis documented the unchecked and mostly undisclosed spending by shadowy front groups on energy-related advertising designed to influence the 2010 congressional midterm elections. That report found that these shadow front groups are spending big — more than $68.5 million on energy-related ads alone.

Now along comes a new poll, the latest in a string of public and private polling that demonstrates that these front groups are just dead wrong when it comes to climate and energy policy and that voters are not motivated to vote against climate and energy supporters. 

Released yesterday, the survey shows that a vast majority of independent voters support a federal policy on climate change and clean energy. According to an E&E News report on the poll, the survey found “62 percent of independents see global warming as a problem that justifies national leadership on a solution, compared with 27 percent of tea party supporters, 39 percent of Republicans and 82 percent of Democrats. In total, 62 percent of respondents said that the United States should lead the way on climate change and 27 percent agreed that the country should wait on a response because global warming may or may not be happening.”

That’s just one poll, you say? Well, consider these polls I’ve written about here previously:

·An ABC News/Washington Post poll (conducted June 3-6, 2010) reported that 71 percent of adults think the federal government should regulate the release of greenhouse gases in an effort to reduce global warming, and just 26 percent think it should not.

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Wall Street Journal/NBC poll (conducted June 17-21, 2010) found 63 percent supported and just 31 percent opposed an energy proposal “designed to reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of alternative and renewable energy sources, even if it means an increase in the cost of energy.”

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USA Today/Gallup poll (conducted June 11-13, 2010) found that 56 percent of adults favored Congress regulating “energy output from private companies in an attempt to reduce global warming,” and just 40 percent opposed it.

·An August poll released by the Benenson Strategy Group found that 63 percent of likely 2010 voters support a bill that would “limit pollution, invest in domestic energy sources and encourage companies to use and develop clean energy. It would do this in part by charging energy companies for carbon pollution in electricity or fuels like gas.”

Election pundits are quick to point to “cap-and-trade” as an albatross around Democrats’ neck. What the polling data show, and what the overwhelming support of independent voters demonstrates, is that climate change is a winning political issue with broad appeal, especially among those who are interested in a future that includes energy security.


David Di Martino is CEO of Blue Line Strategic Communications Inc. The views expressed in this blog are his and do not necessarily represent Blue Line’s. Follow David: @bluelinedd

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