NEW POLLING: DEMOCRATS NEED TO GO BOLD ON CLIMATE

Democrats can effectively translate dissatisfaction with Trump into votes for Biden, especially among Latinos, younger voters, and women

Washington D.C. – Today, Climate Power 2020, Data for Progress, and Global Strategy Group released new polling showing that Americans overwhelmingly favor bold climate action and are more likely to vote for Democratic candidates who lean into a populist, pro-worker call for climate action.

The research also found that voters find President Donald Trump’s favorite talking points bashing climate action and the Green New Deal both unconvincing and unbelievable.

The poll found that 71 percent of respondents favor bold government action on climate change, while only 19 percent oppose it. These findings are especially noteworthy as 41 percent of the voters sampled are Republican-leaning voters who increasingly view climate action as a key factor in their voting decisions.

“Voters do in fact have green dreams and know what’s good when it comes to climate change, good jobs, and clean energy. Democrats would be wise to go big and bold on climate,” said Vice President of Policy and Strategy for Data for Progress Julian Brave NoiseCat. “Fox and Trump’s friends’ lies about cow farts, pickup trucks, hamburgers and mythical trains to Hawaii don’t work. With bold climate action core to Democrats’ message come November, the odds seem to be stacked against Trump and Republicans.”

“The data couldn’t be more clear: Democrats can and should lean into climate, go on the offense, and campaign aggressively on climate action. And the bigger and bolder, the better. There is only bad news for Trump and Republicans in this poll,” said Climate Power 2020 Executive Director Lori Lodes. “Their lies about hamburgers, windmills, energy bills and cars are falling flat, and turning voters toward candidates who actually have plans to address climate change.”

The national survey of 3,249 registered voters shows that Democrats need to go bold on climate to expand their margins among key groups of voters who are dissatisfied with Donald Trump but have not decided to vote for Joe Biden.

And a pro-climate message was especially effective in moving center-right voters, younger voters, Latino voters, and particularly, women to vote for Democrats. Voters overwhelmingly support bold government action to combat climate change and would vote for a Democrat who supports taking such action over a Republican who does not by 24 points – outpacing the standard generic ballot by 14 points.  With center-right white women, the poll found a 35 percentage point gain for Democrats when the choice is framed on climate change. Among independents in battleground states, the gain was 33 percentage points.

These findings indicate that Biden should lean into climate as he looks to build a coalition of voters four months ahead of the 2020 election. The Biden campaign released a climate action plan to invest in clean energy infrastructure, create millions of good-paying jobs and achieve a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2035 – policies the survey found enjoy overwhelming support among voters.

One of the most surprising findings within the poll is data that suggests Republican and Trump attacks against Democrats on the Green New Deal are falling flat with voters across the ideological spectrum. Specifically, voters are skeptical of Republican claims on not only costs but also hamburgers, cars, and airplanes – creating an opening for Democrats to push back against these already debunked claims. When voters were asked to describe Trump and Republicans in three words after hearing the most common GOP attacks against the Green New Deal, the dominant responses were “liars,” followed closely by “greedy,” “selfish,” and “corrupt.”

Additionally, the survey found that despite intense focus within the Beltway, the Green New Deal is largely unknown among voters. Only 13 percent of respondents say they’ve heard a lot about the Green New Deal, and 46 percent say they’re not sure if they support or oppose it.

Full Polling Memo can be found here.

Additional Polling Highlights

Bold climate action is overwhelmingly popular, especially among key voters. 

  • Voters, especially young, Latino, and center-right voters, overwhelmingly support bold government action to combat climate change.
  • Voters would vote for a Democrat who supports taking such action over a Republican who does not by 24 points, outpacing the standard generic ballot by 14 points. 

Climate action is popular. 

  • There is nationwide support for bold climate action, which 71 percent of respondents support. In battleground states, support only shifts slightly down to 69 percent.
  • A climate-focused generic ballot shifts the vote towards Democrats by 14 points overall and even more among younger and center-leaning voters.
  • The Green New Deal is more undefined but still shows promise with 12 percent strongly supporting and 24 percent somewhat supporting the legislation. Forty-three percent are not sure if they support or oppose the proposal. 

Support is strong for Democratic messaging on climate action. 

  • Fifty-two percent of respondents view Democrats as the better choice in combating climate change, looking for the best interests of the everyday worker, and growing the economy.
  • Forty-six percent of respondents look to Democrats in setting up a better world for future generations.

Negative reactions on the Republican talking points on climate action are cutting.

  • The most common messaging voters used to describe Republicans and Trump and Republicans were the following: “selfish,” “greedy,” “corrupt,” “racist” and “liars.”
  • When asked on voting Democratic for strong climate policy versus weak Republican-led government action 58 percent nationwide supported a Democratic candidate. 

Justice messaging appeals to the young generation and communities of color.

  • An environmental justice message against Trump and Republicans that focuses on environmental racism and the higher levels of toxic pollution and dirty air in Black, Latino, and Native American communities which have made them more likely to contract and die from the coronavirus – all the while Trump and Republicans rolled back environmental protections and allowed big energy CEOs to spew even more pollution into communities of color – rises to the top among younger, Latino, and African American voters.

The poll was an online survey conducted on June 23-July 1 among 1,031 registered voters nationwide, plus additional oversamples to achieve 3,249 interviews, including 1,575 voters in battleground states, 2,070 middle partisan voters, 1,073 voters ages 18-34, and 660 Latino voters.

The Build Back Better Act is the most significant climate bill in history.

Congress needs to pass it now. Americans can’t keep waiting for the pollution cuts, lower costs, and millions of jobs that this would deliver:

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