Poll: GOP Worried Climate Denial turns off Young voters

June 14, 2019

Frank Luntz is a well known Republican pollster, and author of a key road map from the early 2000s for Republican office holders on how to delay meaningful action on climate. So, yeah, he’s a monster.

He has results to new polling data showing that even in the dim Fox-addled reaches of the GOP, climate has become an important issue, and one for which there is a popular solution.
Above, PBS interview from 2007.

The Hill:

Prominent GOP pollster Frank Luntz is warning Republican lawmakers that the public’s views on climate change are shifting and that ignoring the issue could cost them important votes at the ballot box.

In a memo circulated to Republican congressional offices on Wednesday, Luntz Global Partners warned that 58 percent of Americans, as well as 58 percent of GOP voters under the age of 40, are more concerned about climate change than they were just one year ago.

The polling group also noted that 69 percent of GOP voters are concerned that the party’s stance on climate change is “hurting itself with younger votes.”

Of the GOP voters under the age of 40, more than half, or 55 percent, said they are “very or extremely” concerned about their party’s position on climate change.

“Climate Change is a GOP VULNERABILITY and a GOP OPPORTUNITY,” read a copy of the memo obtained by The Hill. “Yes, Republican voters want a solution. It is on measures of salience to vote that we have detected the greatest change.”

“The appetite for seeing real action is palpable to voters of both sides,” the memo states.

Referring to a listening session with likely voters, the memo said many are angered that GOP leadership “ceded the issue to the Dems.”

“Typically, the most effective campaign approach is to build-out from the base. … Not here; there’s simply too much recognition that the politicking has blocked Progress,” the group said in the memo.

Luntz Memo on Climate Strategy:

  1. I. Climate Change is a GOP VULNERABILITY and a GOP OPPORTUNITY… Yes, Republican voters want a solution

It is on measures of salience to vote that we have detected the greatest change. 58% of Americans – including 58% of GOP voters under 40 – are more concerned about climate change now than they were only one year ago. The appetite for seeing real action is palpable to voters of both sides. This underlying fact sets the stage for the country and defines the political landscape for climate change. 

69% of GOP voters are concerned their party is ‘hurting itself with younger voters’ by its climate stance. Meanwhile, 55% of GOP voters under 40 are ‘very or extremely’ concerned about their party’s position on climate change. In the listening sessions, we heard real anger that leadership has ‘ceded the issue to the Dems.’ 

  1. II. In the age of ‘partisan divide,’ this is the ONE area where BI-PARTISANSHIP trumps everything else

Typically, the most effective campaign approach is to build-out from the base… Not here; there’s simply too much recognition that the politicking has blocked progress. Even in our current political atmosphere, 80% of all American voters say it’s important for any national climate solution to be bipartisan

Americans across the country are looking to see real leadership that can spearhead a bipartisan solution to climate change. These feelings are set to carry to the ballot box. Most American voters (65%), including a majority of Republicans (53%), have said they would be more likely to support a candidate who supported Carbon Dividends. In other words, this plan – in stark contrast to the ‘Green New Deal’ – has significant, measurable impact on Vote

  1. III. Voters believe the U.S. must change direction on climate policy. 

The ‘political temperature’ on climate change has shifted – perhaps permanently. Three in four American voters want to see the government step in to limit carbon emissions – including a majority of Republicans (55%). Voters’ concerns simply aren’t being adequately addressed – by the president or Congress. Fully six out of ten of voters believe U.S. climate policy is headed pretty seriously off on the wrong track. And this INCREASES among swing voters… While both parties cling to strong support on their ‘core’ issues, if those should falter, environmental policy – and its influence on younger voters in particular – could prove decisive. 

  1. IV. Voters – Republican and Democratic – support the Climate Leadership Council’s “Carbon Dividends Solution.” 

The Climate Leadership Council’s solution, called Carbon Dividends, was met with across-the-board support. The plan, which would charge carbon producers for their emissions and return that money directly to the American people, was met with voter support by 4-to-1 overall, and Republican support (overall more naturally skeptical towards carbon reduction) by 2-to-1. 

What is truly striking is the support for this plan among the younger voters. Under-40 GOP voters support the plan by more than 6-to-1. And for swing voters, under-40s support the plan by more than 8-to-1. 

  1. V. The transformative element in this climate solution: Paying money back to the American people. 

As part of the climate policy, the Climate Leadership Council’s solution would return the money gathered from the fee charged to carbon producers directly back to the American people. To explore how Americans felt about this pillar of the plan, we listened to focus groups to hear directly from voters. When asked how they felt about paying this money back out to Americans, one GOP focus group participant summed the groups’ feelings: 

“It’s good for business, jobs… everybody gets something.” 

– GOP Focus Group Participant 

GOP voters are on board with Carbon Dividends because they believe it will grow the economy, add jobs, help their pocketbooks, and make American businesses more competitive across the world. It’s this component that motivates Republicans to support candidates who will sign onto the Carbon Dividends Solution. 

“Show us economically viable solutions, that it’s a serious problem, and that people are willing – across economic interests – to pitch in globally to do it, and I’m buyin’…” 

– GOP Focus Group Participant 

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7 Responses to “Poll: GOP Worried Climate Denial turns off Young voters”

  1. fermin francisco Says:

    In reply to a GOP Focus Group participant’s challenge to ‘show us economically viable solutions’ on the climate issue, here’s one vision: US green companies, billion-dollar Climate Funds and US Aid set up green ‘intrapreneurship’ programs that create joint ventures between said green companies + ethanol producers in Brazil, USA and India, and 3rd World co-ops towards the build-up and operation of medium-scale ethanol distilleries all over the tropics, all fed by sweet sorghum farms. Trust in producers’ long experience + Fund loans at 75% project cost + gross profit above 50% should quickly spread such projects tropics-wide, thereby ‘inhaling’ atmospheric CO2 (thru sorghum farms) and decreasing CO2 formation (thru clean vehicle exhausts) at billion-ton levels yearly. More such high-profit green schemes are detailed in https;//fermin4greenearth.blogspot.com. Thousands of A to triple-A grade Philippine co-ops are prime joint venture prospects. Indeed the profit motive as major tool against global warming should unite corporations, political parties, and all humanity towards planetary clean-up for everybody’s good.

  2. mboli Says:

    What an amazing little weasel. He says he is real proud of what he wrote back then, his messaging principles for climate denial. And since then he has changed his mind about climate change, he wouldn’t write the same thing now.
    I call .
    What Frank Luntz believes is that the winning strategy for Republicans has changed. He doesn’t give a rip about climate change.
    Nobody believes his pious bushwa about how he has changed his mind on the issue.


  3. Never trust Frank Luntz. I do not believe this is true, and he does not give numbers:

    In other words, this plan – in stark contrast to the ‘Green New Deal’ – has significant, measurable impact on Vote.

    Last time I looked, also the Green New Deal is very popular, but naturally this plan is less popular with the corrupt Republican leadership.

    It could be that the term is less popular now after all the propaganda on Fox News, but not too long ago I read a poll where they described the Green New Deal (without given the name or telling it comes from AOC) and even with Republicans there were overwhelming majorities for it.

    • Daniel Berger Says:

      That’s not unusual. Polling pretty reliably shows that right-leaning voters support the same healthcare policies that they oppose when those policies are identified as part of Obamacare. Less opposition is shown if the policies are identified as part of the Affordable Care Act.

      GND has been demonized, so anything with “GND” attached will get knee-jerk opposition that it wouldn’t see if it were being sold as a separate policy proposal.

  4. Keith McClary Says:

    I had to look up “Carbon Dividends”. It seems to be equivalent to the despised “Carbon Tax”, except that it is levied at the producer level instead of the consumer level. Consumers will end up paying the same in increased prices for the embedded energy in everything they buy. But if this makes it more palatable to cons, OK.

  5. Keith McClary Says:

    Our Canadian Cons are running on a platform to abolish the Carbon Tax. Instead they have their “Real Plan to Protect Our Environment”

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/andrew-scheer-climate-change-carbon-emissions-1.5181744
    “It is, without question, a handsome document — in full colour and featuring many large photos. There are many words in it. Some of them are in large fonts. Others are in italics.

    But unfortunately, none of them explain at any point how much the federal Conservatives hope to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through this plan.”

    It involves tax credits for corporations. They say it won’t cost consumers anything.

    I suspect the US Cons will cook up similar crocks.


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