Public Resource
Environmental Polling Roundup - January 19th, 2024
David Gold, Environmental Polling Consortium

This post includes climate and environment headlines, data points, and key takeaways from recent public polls - including a new analysis of the impact of voters’ climate attitudes on the 2020 presidential election results, new polling on electric vehicles, new polling on competitiveness with China on clean energy, and a new analysis of climate justice attitudes across Yale and George Mason’s “Six Americas” segments.



UC-Boulder Center for Social and Environmental Futures (C-SEF)
Polling on the 2020 presidential election suggests that climate change cost Republicans 3-4 points in the election, as pro-climate independents in particular overwhelmingly supported Biden over Trump [Open access article

Third Way
Voters believe that the U.S. can and should compete with China on clean energy [ArticleMemo]

Health and energy independence rank as the most persuasive rationales for investment in electric vehicles; “zero-emissions vehicles” are less polarizing than “electric vehicles” [ReleaseDeck]

Yale + GMU
Support for climate justice and recognition of climate disparities vary widely across global warming’s “Six Americas” [Article]



Clean energy advocates should seize the themes of energy independence and patriotism. Third Way finds that voters of all political persuasions overwhelmingly say that the U.S. should aim to compete with China on clean energy rather than accept China’s clean energy dominance. In polling over the last couple of years, energy independence has emerged as one of the most powerful arguments for investment in clean energy. The idea that clean energy investment is the patriotic thing to do presents a potential inroad to talk about clean energy to difficult audiences, particularly conservative audiences who are less motivated by climate change but value patriotism and American competitiveness.

Climate change is a winning issue for Democrats. Researchers at UC-Boulder’s Center for Social and Environmental Futures estimate that climate change likely cost Republicans 3-4 points in the 2020 presidential election due to the electorate’s broadly pro-climate attitudes and the very strong correlation between climate attitudes and presidential vote choice. Their analysis further shows that climate attitudes were one of the strongest predictors of independent voters’ support for President Biden, rebutting the notion that climate is a “base” issue that doesn’t resonate beyond core Democratic audiences.   



[Inflation Reduction Act] Voters support the Inflation Reduction Act by a three-to-one margin (67% support / 22% oppose) after reading a brief, one-sentence description of it [Navigator]
[Clean Energy Competitiveness] By a 72%-10% margin, voters agree more with a statement that the U.S. should compete with China on clean energy (“China has a significant lead in clean energy markets, but if the U.S. steps up and tries to compete, we can outcompete them”) than a statement that the U.S. should accept China’s clean energy dominance (“China’s dominance over the world’s clean energy technology is not something the U.S. can overcome,” so “we should accept that and turn to other areas that we can excel in”). [Third Way]