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New Battleground Poll Finds Strong Republican and Bipartisan Support for Climate Solutions Rooted in Economic Freedom

C3 Action, a sister organization to C3 Solutions, released a new poll today showing strong Republican and bipartisan support for a climate and freedom agenda based on economic freedom. The poll was conducted in the critical battleground swing states of Arizona, Georgia and Michigan. 

>>>READ: C3 Action Enters the Climate Debate

The poll on Republican climate solutions specifically found that a strong bipartisan consensus exists around an “all of the above” fiscally responsible energy diversification agenda. With the issue of climate change poised to shape American and global politics for years to come, the party that embraces and implements this agenda will set itself up for success for a generation. 

Key findings related to climate and energy:

  • Only 14 percent of Republicans believe climate change is not happening. Most Republicans believe climate change is real and prefer candidates who propose climate solutions. 
  • Progressive climate activists who oppose nuclear energy and fracking and demonize fossil fuels are out of step with Democrats: 71 percent of Democrats support an “all of the above” strategy; 68 percent of Democrats support nuclear energy; and 49 percent of Democrats support fracking while only 32 of Democrats oppose fracking.
  • Two-thirds of Republicans and Democrats support streamlining regulations to speed up the deployment of new clean energy technology while Republicans and Democrats prefer to finance clean energy research through spending offsets (49 percent) over borrowing (13 percent) or tax increases (9 percent).  
  • 76 percent of Republicans and Democrats are not willing to pay more than $10 a month to fight climate change. 
  • Republicans oppose reviving earmarks by a more than two-to-one margin (46 percent to 21 percent). 
  • A majority of voters (51 percent) reject President Biden’s efforts to blame rising gas prices on Russian President Vladimir Putin. 
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in a net 13 percent favorability swing toward Republicans. 

The poll also found that Republicans face a serious dilemma. While President Trump remains popular with Republicans, he is probably not a viable general election candidate in 2024. Should Trump run, he would be competitive but would likely play the role of spoiler. About 60 percent of voters prefer another candidate, which is consistent with other polls. In addition, as many as ten percent of Republican voters are open to opposing Trump under all circumstances. In states with razor-thin margins, even one percent of defections would give a right-leaning independent or third-party candidate more than enough votes to prevent Trump from winning another term. And it’s important to note this poll was conducted before Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony before the January 6 committee. 

The poll contained other key insights about Republican politics including:

  • Republicans say it is more important for a candidate to have plans to reduce gas prices, promote energy independence and defend America from foreign threats than to have Trump’s endorsement.
  • Republicans view climate change as a more important priority than election reform.
  • The “big lie” is a liability. A majority of Republicans (58 percent) believe Trump’s statements about the 2020 election caused the GOP to lose two Senate seats in Georgia and hand control of Congress to Democrats, while 52 percent of Republicans believe candidates who claim that the election was stolen should be held accountable. 

Finally, the poll verified our view that progressive attempts to link climate change to unrelated social policy goals was highly polarizing and unpersuasive with Republicans. Yet, the poll also included a surprising finding that Republicans find ‘alarmist’ rhetoric that refers to climate change as a ‘crisis’ or ‘existential threat’ moderately persuasive. This is another wake-up call for Republicans. While we still believe that climate panic is not a good substitute for clear-eyed climate policy, this finding illustrates the peril of dismissing very real concerns about climate change. Fortunately, key solutions in The Climate and Freedom Agenda, which is rooted in economic freedom, are overwhelmingly popular not just among Republicans but also with Democrats and can serve as a roadmap for durable solutions for policymakers of good faith on all sides.  

Access the full poll here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

Copyright © 2020 Conservative Coalition for Climate Solutions

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