NEW POLL: Battleground Voters Reject Trump’s Science Denial, Embrace Biden’s Bold Call to Act on Climate

Overwhelming Majority of Voters Concerned About Climate-Fueled Extreme Weather, Prioritize Action on Climate

Washington, D.C. – Today, Public Policy Polling Group and Climate Power 2020 released results of a new poll showing the majority of battleground voters reject President Donald Trump’s science denial and think addressing climate change should be a top priority for the next president.

The poll found former Vice President Joe Biden leading President Trump 53% to 43% among voters in the battleground states of Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina.

“Following weeks of climate fires, hurricanes, and severe flooding, voters understand that the climate crisis is here and that it’s making these extreme weather events worse,” said Climate Power 2020 Executive Director Lori Lodes. “In the final push to November, voters are looking for candidates who not only believe in science but also have a bold plan to address climate change.”

“The divide of battleground state voters’ views on Trump’s science denial versus Biden’s embrace of climate change and science is striking,” said Jim Williams of Public Policy Polling Group. “A 27-point margin on any issue is quite unusual and shows that taking on climate can have a real impact on voters and that Donald Trump’s science denial is a real vulnerability for him.”

Key Findings:

  • 66% say that addressing climate change must be a priority for the next president, including 39% who say it must be a top priority. Among independent voters, 77% say addressing climate change must be a priority, including 42% who say it must be a top priority.
  • By a margin of 55% to 38%, voters trust Biden over Trump when it comes to addressing climate change.
  • By a margin of 55% to 28%, voters prefer Biden’s statement (“The impacts of climate change don’t pick and choose. That’s because it’s not a partisan phenomenon. It’s science.”) to Trump’s recent statements (“It will start getting cooler” and that “I don’t think science knows, actually.”).
  • 62% believe (including 51% who strongly believe) that climate change is making extreme weather events, such as Western wildfires and Atlantic hurricanes, worse.
  • 72% of voters responded that they are concerned about recent extreme weather events, with almost half of respondents saying they are “very concerned.”

This survey comes on top of other recent polls that have found that climate change is a top priority for voters. 

  • An NPR-Marist poll released late last week found that climate change is now the number priority for Democratic voters, higher even than the economy or the coronavirus. Climate was the number three priority among all likely voters.
  • An Economist/YouGov poll released last week found that climate change and the environment ranks as the third “most important issue” by independent voters. Among Democrats and Biden supporters, climate change was second only to health care as the most important issue for voters.
  • A new Morning Consult poll shows 3 out of 4 adults in the US believe climate change has contributed “a lot” or “some” to recent extreme weather events.

These results further support earlier Climate Power 2020 polling in July that found Trump’s denial of climate change and coronavirus and his refusal to believe experts increase negative feelings about Trump and moves swing voters away from him.

Full results from today’s poll can be found here.

The survey of 896 battleground state voters in Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina was conducted by Public Policy Polling on September 18-19. In 2016, Trump and Hillary Clinton each received support from 45% of the voters surveyed.