Most Republicans Say They Back Climate Action, Poll Finds

Feb 2, 2015

Image credit: Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency

By Coral Davenport and Marjorie Connelly

An overwhelming majority of the American public, including half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times, Stanford University and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future.

In a finding that could have implications for the 2016 presidential campaign, the poll also found that two-thirds of Americans said they were more likely to vote for political candidates who campaign on fighting climate change. They were less likely to vote for candidates who questioned or denied the science that determined that humans caused global warming.

Among Republicans, 48 percent say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports fighting climate change, a result that Jon A. Krosnick, a professor of political science at Stanford University and an author of the survey, called “the most powerful finding” in the poll. Many Republican candidates question the science of climate change or do not publicly address the issue.

Nonetheless, 47 percent of Republicans still said they believed that policies designed to curb global warming would hurt the economy.

Although the poll found that climate change was not a top issue in determining a person’s vote, a candidate’s position on climate change influences how a person will vote. For example, 67 percent of respondents, including 48 percent of Republicans and 72 percent of independents, said they were less likely to vote for a candidate who said that human-caused climate change is a hoax.

11 comments on “Most Republicans Say They Back Climate Action, Poll Finds

  • This is tremendous news. I know Catholics are mostly better than their wretched church. I know that many Republicans haven’t gone over to the Dark Side like their Sith Overlords.

    Now whats needed is to deal with this-

    47 percent of Republicans still said they believed that policies designed to curb global warming would hurt the economy.

    Show them the investment opportunities in sustainable technologies (an under appreciated investment say Credit Suisse) and explain this will be a means to put the US back in the technology and economic driving seat once more and we get what we want too.



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  • It could just be cynicism, but I suspect it’s because of how well the alternatives are going, how quickly the price of the alternatives is dropping and how unprofitable the fossil fuels are becoming (at least here). The dollar signs are starting to appear before their eyes (about 30 years too late – but better too late than never).



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  • I remember reading an article years ago about the funding of climate skeptics by big oil. It claimed big oil were fully aware of the need for climate action, but they just wanted to procrastinate to the last minute to milk the last drop of profit out of fossil fuels. One of the encouraging signs is oil companies are renaming themselves as energy companies.

    Canada’s Harper pinned his political hopes on the Alberta Tar sands. They have been blown out the water completely by low oil prices. Tar Sands oil costs 3 times what ordinary oil costs.

    The Germans and Japanese have been busy developing green technology. It will be so embarrassing having to buy it from them because we did almost nothing to develop our own. We will be the poor relatives, similar to eastern Europe.



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  • Roedy Feb 2, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    I remember reading an article years ago about the funding of climate skeptics by big oil. It claimed big oil were fully aware of the need for climate action, but they just wanted to procrastinate to the last minute to milk the last drop of profit out of fossil fuels.

    That would be this deception:-

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2015/01/2014-breaks-heat-record-challenging-global-warming-skeptics/#li-comment-167176

    .. and this one:-

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2015/01/2014-breaks-heat-record-challenging-global-warming-skeptics/#li-comment-167168



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  • I see Australia’s chief denialist has just had a wake-up call!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-31080577
    .Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has vowed to learn the lessons from a rout in Queensland state elections.

    The state’s Liberal-National Party, allied to Mr Abbott’s ruling coalition, lost the largest political majority in Australian history after just one term.

    The PM accepted his coalition had “difficulties” but said that government was about competence not popularity.

    The latest opinion poll suggested his coalition would be defeated if an election were held now.

    The poll in the Sunday Telegraph registered a drop in support for the coalition from 53.5% in the 2013 national election victory to just 43% now, compared to 57% for Labor.

    Mr Abbott’s personal ratings had slumped to 27%, as opposed to 44% for Labor leader Bill Shorten.



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  • I’m sure your right. But its what we need.

    Its never a plan to hope the selfish will suddenly see the light. We have always needed to enlighten the self-interested about how interesting the better path actually is.



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