Environmental concerns may turn voters blue: poll

Environmental concerns may turn voters blue: poll
© Getty

Concerns over environmental regulation and climate change could be an important voting issue and may sway some voters toward Democrats, according to a poll conducted by Change Research, a polling firm that serves left-leaning clients.

The poll released Friday found that 51 percent of voters disapprove of the Trump administration's environmental policies, with 48 percent saying the policies will affect their vote in the midterm elections this fall. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Released by environmental media group Our Daily Planet, the study also found that concerns surrounding pollution are on the rise. Fifty-nine percent of voters said they believe that water, air and open space protections are at more risk now than two years ago. Similarly, 54 percent believe that the U.S. is on the "wrong track" when it comes to planet protection for future generations. 

Looking specifically at those who voted for Trump, 42 percent said they oppose Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efforts to fire scientists who believe in climate change.

Voters look predominantly to the Democratic Party to lead on environmental issues, the poll also found. Those polled said they trusted Democrats more than Republicans to handle conservation issues by a 43-24 percent margin and pollution issues by a 44-22 percent margin. 

“Our ‘Environmental Anxiety Index’ poll is a siren of green alert for President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE and his Republican allies,” said Our Daily Planet publishers Monica Medina and Miro Korenha. “Voters are rejecting Trump’s rollback of environmental protections, denial of climate science, and reduced protection for public lands and wildlife.” 

Over the years, other surveys have suggested that environmental issues do not bring voters to the polls.

The Pew Research Center found in 2016 that the environment ranked low on the list of top issues for voters. About 52 percent of voters listed the environment as "very important" to their vote, while 84 percent of voters listed the Economy the same way.

With the surge of scandals surrounding EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittGovernment watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response Wheeler won’t stop America’s addiction to fossil fuels Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas MORE and a number of regulatory changes made at the agency, some groups and policymakers are hoping that the environment will become a top voting issue in 2018 and beyond.

The study polled more than 1,000 respondents online between April 16 and 18.

Updated at 2:15 p.m.