Red States, Green Votes

An eco-minded Republican could sweep up votes from disappointed Dems and independents

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William Brown / www.donnarosenartists.com

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Several Republicans bidding for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, including Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, describe climate change as a hoax on the American people, a position that could lose them votes, reports Jane Key in The Daily Climate (June 29, 2011). According to a poll of 1,000 respondents conducted by Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment, all candidates have something to gain by listening to climate scientists and espousing belief in global warming. 

Turns out that 77 percent of national respondents, when they were asked how they would vote for a hypothetical Senate candidate, prefer a “green” candidate who believes that fossil fuel consumption contributes to global warming and that the federal government should regulate emissions and promote renewable resources. Only 48 percent would vote for a “not-green” candidate who considers climate change a hoax and believes the government should not interfere with emissions regulations.  

Based on a detailed breakdown of the data, researchers concluded that while Democrats could strengthen their base by focusing on climate, Republicans hoping to woo independents and disappointed Dems had more to gain, especially if their opponents stay silent on the subject.

168-cover-thumb.jpgHave something to say? Send a letter to editor@utne.com. This article first appeared in the November-December 2011 issue of Utne Reader.