Polling Data Swinging Against Climate Denial

June 10, 2014

Public Policy Polling:

A new Public Policy Polling survey finds that the carbon emission reduction standards announced by President Obama yesterday are popular with voters across the country, and that voters have little tolerance for a Presidential candidate in 2016 who doesn’t believe that climate change is caused by human activity. Crucial independent voters, in particular, are not sympathetic to the GOP’s climate skepticism.

Key findings from the survey include:

-Voters support the 30% reduction standard in carbon pollution from existing power plants by an 18 point margin, 53/35. Independents (59/29) are particularly strong in their support for the standards.

-Voters, and particularly independents, don’t have much tolerance for climate skeptics when it comes to the 2016 Presidential race. Only 38% of voters say they’d be willing to support a candidate who doesn’t believe global warming is caused by human activity, and by an 11 point margin they say they would be less likely to vote for such a candidate. When it comes to independents just 29% would be open to supporting a climate skeptic.

-This issue could be particularly problematic for Senator Marco Rubio given his recent comments on it. Voters say by a 56/33 margin that they have more faith in the scientists than Rubio when it comes to the issue of climate change, and among independents it’s 57/27. Rubio starts out trailing Hillary Clinton by a 49/42 spread in a hypothetical match up anyway, and when respondents were informed about Rubio’s stance on climate change it pushed Clinton’s lead up to 9 points at 50/41. That’s a wider margin than Barack Obama won either of his elections by.



19 Responses to “Polling Data Swinging Against Climate Denial”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    This is good news but for the fact that the Tea Party fanatics and other mindless conservatives look like they’re going to maintain control of the House and maybe even take the Senate in November That’s going to make Obama’s last two years a tough road to travel, and inhibit progress on many fronts until after the 2016 elections. Rubio is toast, IMO. He will likely go the way of Perry, Bachmann, The Newt, Cain, Santorum, and the other members of the last Traveling Clown Circus as the Repugnants again race to the bottom while at the same time attempting to find an “electable ” candidate. IMO, the Dems have a lock on the presidency in 2016, and it’s Hillary’s if she wants it (and she does).

    We need some more bad news climate change wise to open some more eyes. Maybe a huge melt of the arctic ice and the Greenland ice sheet this summer will do the trick. A massive heat dump from the oceans in the Super El Nino may come too late for November, but may make big news and change some minds in 2015.

    • Do you think that Martin O’Malley and Jay Inslee are plausible candidates?

      • rayduray Says:

        Re: “Do you think that Martin O’Malley and Jay Inslee are plausible candidates?”

        O’Malley? First I’ve heard of him. He might need to work on name recognition.

        Inslee? Maybe Washington needs a few more landslides to bump his numbers. [wink]

        I’m in the camp of “anyone but Hillary”. I see no good coming from Hillary on the climate issue.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        To Ray and jimbills as well.

        IMO, O’Malley and Inslee are in somewhat the same position as Huntsman was for the Repugs—-certainly “plausible” but perhaps a bit too far out for national electability. (And O’Malley DOES have a lot of :”name recognition” here, Ray, since MD wraps around DC and is hard for the “inside the Beltway” types to ignore).

        I think it is unkind to compare Hillary with Vlad the Impaler except in the metaphorical (and hyperbolic) sense. Both Vlad and El Diablo were men, as were Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, all serial killers and school shooters, etc. I for one am about ready to turn the country over to the women—-that’s why I support Emily’s List and Hillary. I’d like to believe that Hillary will move in the right direction on climate change—she must if she wants to win.

        • jimbills Says:

          It’s hyperbole, of course. But I really think Clinton’s record shows she won’t be a forceful advocate for AGW mitigation. She’ll acknowledge it and maybe pass a decree or two. She’ll also support fracking and the oil industry. It’d be better than a GOP candidate (with the possible exception of Christie) who would rigorously fight against any mitigation efforts.

          But it’s also a deep compromise for environmentalists. We keep supporting these people who are really just corporate enablers. The question is if these people are really doing enough, and if not, was it worth it to support them? Should we just accept the argument that the other guy would have been a lot worse?

          I don’t have any issue with Hillary being a woman.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            I wish my crystal ball was as clear as yours. If she does little about climate change, CO2, and fossil fuels during her eight years, we are doomed. I myself think she will be forced to take action when the SHTF during her first term. Gilding in The Great Disruption has predicted that will happen in 2018, and I tend to agree with him.

            Both Clintons have perhaps been far too much “corporate enablers”, but the real truth is that ALL AMERICANS are the real corporate enablers, and it will remain that way until we change our core values and lifestyles.

  2. jimbills Says:


    “Obama’s recent executive actions proposing significantly stricter carbon pollution standards on energy-producing plants appear to be generally in tune with majority public opinion. Americans favor setting higher emissions and pollution standards on business and imposing mandatory controls on carbon emissions, and at this point tilt toward actions that would protect the environment even at the cost of some traditional oil, gas, and coal production.

    The argument against new emissions standards is that they would ultimately require the American public to pay more for energy, that they would cost American jobs, and that they would have relatively little impact on global warming. These alternatives are not addressed directly in the trend questions reviewed here, and it is possible that when presented with specific tradeoff costs of setting higher carbon pollution standards, support would be lower.”


    “The broader, and perhaps more important, point is that even while skepticism rose — causing a corresponding increase in the percentage of Americans who can be categorized as “Cool Skeptics” — the percentage of “Concerned Believers” has recovered to pre-Climategate levels, while the Mixed Middle has dwindled. As with many issues in the past decade, Americans’ views have grown more polarized.”

  3. Roger Streit Says:

    Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is a grassroots, nonpartisan group creating the political will for a stable climate. CCL champions a revenue-neutral carbon tax or carbon “fee and dividend.” CCL views this as a way to “level the playing field” by internalizing the social costs to society of greenhouse gas emissions.

    Here is the page with details: http://citizensclimatelobby.org/carbon-tax/

    Of particular note is a recently commissioned study that shows that a fee on carbon, if done the right way, will actually add jobs and improve the United States economy. The study turns the common wisdom on its head. Essentially, it’s a myth that reducing greenhouse gas emissions will result in job loss and slow growth.


  4. It sounds like some of you are buying into Obama’s plan like it was serious. I know I linked to this story before, but for those of you missed it:


    Wall Street loves cap-and-trade – it’s more business for them. Originally, it was conservative Republicans who enthusiastically endorsed cap-and-trade, now it’s the Democrats who have fallen in love with it while the Republicans point out (correctly, for once) what a POS it is. Of course, the Republicans claim that AGW is a “hoax,” and they only disowned cap-and-trade so they could use it as a hammer against the Democrats.

    This is all one big diversion from getting serious about tackling AGW. The “big plan” is really to let future generations deal with it. In a rare moment of honesty, George W Bush admitted that we can ignore AGW because “we’ll be dead by the time it’s a problem.” Of course, he’s wrong about that too, but then again he was wrong about almost everything else. However, if you’re rich enough, you can avoid the worst AGW disasters – the rich can always fly off to their villas in Alaska while folks in Florida drown.

    • rayduray Says:


      I’m in agreement with you about Obama being little more than a poodle for the interests of the 1%. Much as the UK’s Tony Blair was derided for being a mere poodle to Dick Cheney’s imperial war policies. Look where it’s gotten Blair! He’s being paid $12 Million per year by Jamie Dimon at JPM-Chase for doing nothing.

      I’m sure Obama’s angling for a similar deal.

  5. mbe11 Says:

    Since the cliamte pre the science is not changed when CO2 levels change how does paying carbon taxes make any difference except to make some rich and a whole lot of people poorer.

    • rayduray Says:


      You might want to learn something about basic science. Your statement is incorrect. Climate changes are not based on our observation of them (i.e. science). Climate change and CO2 levels are linked.

      Your basic premise needs to be re-considered. As written, it makes no sense.

  6. […] Polling Data Swinging Against Climate Denial (Climate Crocks) […]

  7. MorinMoss Says:

    The polling won’t matter much if the same mechanisms that blunted real change in the current administration are still in place come next election.

    Citizens United still stands, Astroturfing is alive and well, the gerrymandering of 2010 can’t be mitigated or undone until 2020 and we’ll have to wait and see who holds the Senate and if it’s filibuster-proof.

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