Poll: To Young Voters, Climate Deniers Just Plumb Crazy

July 25, 2013


Add Climate change to the list of issues where the GOP is severely out of step with younger voters.


Republicans in Congress who reject the science behind climate change could soon be reduced to political fossils, with new polling on Wednesday suggesting three-quarters of young voters find such views “ignorant, out of touch or crazy”.

The bipartisan poll conducted for the League of Conservation Voters found solid 80% support among under-35 voters for Barack Obama’s climate change plan – and majority support even among those who oppose the president.

On the flip side the poll found three-quarters of voters, or 73%, would oppose members of Congress who stood in the way of Obama’s climate action plan.

The findings could prove awkward for Republicans in Congress who have adopted climate contrarianism as a defining feature.

Some 55% of Republicans in the House of Representatives and 65% of those in the Senate reject the science behind climate change or oppose action on climate change, according to an analysis by the Centre for American Progress.

The house speaker, John Boehner, dismissed Obama’s plan to reduce carbon emissions as “absolutely crazy”. If the poll is right that would hurt Boehner even among members of his own party, with the poll finding 52% of young Republicans less inclined to support a candidate who opposed Obama on climate change.

The implications were even more harsh for those Republicans who block Obama on climate action and dispute the entire body of science behind climate change. “For voters under 35, denying climate change signals a much broader failure of values and leadership,” the polling memo said. Many young voters would write such candidates off completely, with 37% describing climate change deniers as “ignorant”, 29% as “out of touch” and 7% simply as “crazy”.

The In-laws

Aunt Teabag and Uncle Dittohead

The climate cranks were unlikely to pick up many points with their base either; just under half of young Republicans said they would be less likely to vote for a climate change denier.

The poll, a joint effort by the Democratic firm Benenson Strategy Group and the Republican firm GS Strategy Group, could provide further evidence to a small group of moderate Republicans – mainly retired from politics – who have been trying to nudge the party to engage with the issue of climate change.



12 Responses to “Poll: To Young Voters, Climate Deniers Just Plumb Crazy”

  1. Although it would clearly be good if right-wing parties in both the UK and US could start supporting action against climate change, it is rather sad that it appears that it will be driven by a desire to improve their polling numbers, rather than because they’ve been convinced by the actual evidence. I guess we should be happy however it happens, but it is a rather sad indictment of our political (and economic probably) systems.

    • uknowispeaksense Says:

      In Australia we have the absolutlely whacky situation where half of the conservatives currently in parliament do not accept the scientific consensus but have a climate change policy. http://uknowispeaksense.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/the-mad-monks-mob-of/

      Their leader, Tony Abbott is on the record as saying “Climate change is crap,” yet, he has recognised that he needs to have a climate change policy. He wants to scrap the carbon tax that he spruiked for just 4 years ago in favour of some “direct action” plan that will cost 3 times as much and have no effect on the emissions he claims he wants to reduce even though he doesn’t actually believe they are bad. He is transparently false yet still, the halfwit cranky old white men and their sandwich making, tea pouring subservient wives in this country will still vote for him. Personally, I wish most of that generation would hurry up and die so we can get on with doing what needs to be done.

      • daryan12 Says:

        I recall reading something, I think it was on Conservapedia in which he was trying to deny climate change, pointing to “previous warm spells” as his evidence, which of course occured milions of years ago (even tho he thinks the world is just a few thousand years old) and having to perform various feats of mental dexterity to get around these two contradictory positions. Quite amusing actually.

        Then again how many times have you met a conservative who was both “pro-life” and in favour of the death penalty?

        Or wants to cut taxes, but increase miltary spend… then claim he needs a gun to defend himself from “the govumnt” ?

        I don’t think conservatives understand the concept of irony.

    • petersjazz Says:

      I think it is sound that politics listen to the voters. But the need for action is bigger than percents, US needs to cut emissions by 90%

  2. Peter Mizla Says:

    the GOP and Tea Party represent a generation of Americans who grew up young idolizing Reagan some 30 or more years ago- that core belief has largely remained for many of them- the society we live in today is a threat to these values. Climate Change is a radical apocalyptic outcome, that flies in the face of the very optimistic belief systems of that era (early 1980s) those people who where in their late 20s and early 30s loved Reagan – today in their late 50s and older- they are stuck in the past. Obama is the total antithesis of Reagan- or so they seem to thin. In actuality Obama is to the right of FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ-

    • greenman3610 Says:

      it’s not his politics, its his skin color they really don’t like – though they freak when you call them out on it.

    • jimbills Says:

      I personally think Obama is to the right of Nixon (in terms of economics, regulations, and federal power, not in social terms). We don’t see it, because the entire country has moved pretty radically to the right at the same time, and because Bush was so bad. We’re just relieved we don’t have him, when Obama is continuing most of his policies, and in some cases, strengthening them.

  3. daryan12 Says:

    Couldn’t agree more. The UK equivalent of the the Tea Party is UKIP, or as I prefer to call them “the closet racist party”. If you ever meet any of them they are so out of touch its difficult to believe such people exist. Many don’t seem to realise that this thing called “globalisation” has occured, nor that both the cold war and WW2 ended some time ago & don’t even try to get them to understand things like multiculturalism or gay rights nor this thing called “rock and roll”.

    I mean UKIP have even made “screaming lord” Monckton their chief science advisor.Personally, I reckon whenever these Tea party/UKIP types appear on telly they should turn off the colour as they seem to be stuck in a time warp.

  4. […] I posted last week on new polling data showing young people regard climate denial as a sure sign of ignorance, stupidity, and blindness.  National Journal chimes in with analysis. […]

  5. […] Poll: Young Voters Think Climate Deniers Are Just Plumb Crazy […]

  6. […] 2013/07/25: PSinclair: Poll: To Young Voters, Climate Deniers Just Plumb Crazy […]

  7. […] not sure if there is a conversion factor for IQ points vs belief in evolution, but if there is, the climate-denying Republican Party is experiencing a severe Brain drain.  We now have the report that belief in the foundation of […]

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