A recent survey conducted by YouGov and the Huffington Post has revealed that voters in this week’s midterms consider climate change an issue, even though it is being downplayed in the pre-election rhetoric. Interestingly, given the Republican Party’s evasiveness when it comes to discussing the issue, 44 percent of respondents believe that human activity is driving climate change, 33 percent believe the climate is changing but not as a result of human activity, while only 12 percent believe that the climate is not changing at all. A greater number of those polled said they would be voting for a Republican candidate rather than a Democrat candidate in the midterms.
The poll surveyed 728 respondents who indicated they were likely to vote in the midterm elections. The results showed that of those surveyed, 47 percent intended to vote for a Republican Party candidate, while 42 percent intended to vote Democrat. Two percent of respondents were voting for other candidates and nine percent were unsure which way they were going to vote. 36 percent of respondents felt that climate change had not received enough attention as an election issue, while 22 percent felt that it had received too much attention.
When it came to Congressional action to deal with climate change, respondents were quite evenly split. In answer to the question “How important is it to you that Congress passes legislation in the next year dealing with climate change?” 53 percent of respondents said it was either very or somewhat important to them, while 47 percent said it was either not very or not at all important. However, when asked the more specific question of “Do you favor or oppose the federal government more strictly regulating emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions?” 49 percent were in favor, 35 percent were opposed and 15 percent were unsure.
The results are interesting because they indicate a voter base that is moving ahead of the Republican Party when it comes to acknowledging and considering action on the issue of climate change. Will the Republicans have to make a choice in the near future between their relationship with their voter base and their relationship with their financial supporters whose interests remain very much vested with trying to maintain the status quo? Watch this space!