NEW POLLING: A Debate over Fracking and Climate Boosts Joe Biden in Pennsylvania

To: Interested Parties
From: Andrew Baumann and Maura Farrell, Global Strategy Group
Date: August 27, 2020
Re: New Survey Shows that a Debate over Fracking and Climate Boosts Joe Biden in Pennsylvania


Global Strategy Group partnered with Climate Power 2020 and the League of Conservation Voters to explore the electoral landscape in Pennsylvania and understand how a debate about fracking and climate would impact the presidential contest in this critical state. The research shows that not only are Pennsylvania voters supportive of climate action and additional regulations on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), engaging in a debate around fracking and climate clearly helps Joe Biden, strengthening his favorability rating and increasing his lead over President Donald Trump in the state. The following memo is based on an online survey conducted August 13-19 among 801 registered voters in Pennsylvania. The margin of error for the survey is ±3.5%. This research was funded by Climate Power 2020, an independent project of CAP Action, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Sierra Club.

Key Findings:

Pennsylvania voters are strongly pro-climate and pro-clean energy:

  • Pennsylvania voters believe that climate change is a serious problem and look unkindly at lawmakers who oppose action: an overwhelming majority of voters in the state think climate change is a serious problem (83%) with a plurality saying it is very serious (46%). Pennsylvania voters also do not look kindly upon elected officials who disagree: voters are strongly unfavorable to both lawmakers who deny that climate change is a threat (21% favorable / 70% unfavorable) and lawmakers who oppose strong action to combat climate change (25% favorable / 58% unfavorable).
  • Voters in the state also strongly support pro-climate policies, including “the U.S. government taking bold action to combat climate change” (73% support / 20% oppose), plans to move the U.S. to 100% clean electricity by 2035 (74% / 17%) and a 100% clean energy economy by 2050 (73% / 20%), and investing $2 trillion over the next four years to build clean energy infrastructure (71% / 21%).
  • Pennsylvania voters’ support for bold action on climate translates to the ballot box: voters would vote for a Democrat who supports taking bold action on climate over a Republican who does not by 19 points – outpacing the standard generic ballot (+7) by 12 points. Democrats gain ground on this exercise in both the Philadelphia market (+8 points net gain) and in the Pittsburgh market (+12 points net gain).

  • Voters also prefer making investments in renewable energy over supporting oil and gas companies in order to help the state and country’s economy recover: voters support investments in renewable energy over tax breaks and subsidies for oil and gas by a 20-point margin (60% to 40%) statewide, with an overwhelming margin in the Philadelphia market and a solid, 12-point margin, in the Pittsburgh market.

Get the Full Memo here.

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