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How Important is Global Warming to the American Voter?

How Important is Global Warming to the American Voter?

In our spring 2014 national survey, we asked Americans who are registered to vote how important 19 different issues will be to their vote in the 2014 Congressional election. Here we focus only on those who say an issue will be “very important” to their vote – the strongest possible response. Fewer than half of Americans say a candidate’s stance on energy independence (43%), protecting the environment (39%), developing clean energy sources (39%), or global warming (32%) will be “very important” to their vote.

However, half or more Democrats say protecting the environment (54%, 56% of liberal Democrats), developing clean energy sources (52%), and global warming (50%, 53% of liberal Democrats) will be very important. By contrast, fewer than half of Independents and Republicans place as much importance on these issues, although half of Independents (50%) say energy independence will be very important to their vote in November.

It is also important to note that global warming, clean energy, and protecting the environment, along with the income gap between rich and poor, and improving the nation’s roads, bridges, and powerlines, are the most politically divisive among all the issues measured, with very large differences between Democrats and Republicans.

These findings are from our most recent study, Politics & Global Warming, April 2014.