Today we released results of a new poll of North Carolina voters showing support for federal climate action so strong that they want a mobiliziation on the same level as the response to the coronavirus.
Preceding the results is the below statement from Dustin Ingalls, our Director of Strategic Communications, and then an analysis memo from the pollster, Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling.
NEW POLL: North Carolina Voters Support Climate Action Like COVID-19 Response
Statement from Dustin Ingalls, Director of Strategic Communications
People around the world are worried about a virus that is increasingly touching every life in some way. It is both a public health and economic disaster. Like the climate crisis, it’s impacting low-income communities and communities of color first and worst. They are most exposed to air pollution which causes and exacerbates health issues like asthma, making them more vulnerable to the coronavirus. And like the climate crisis, the corona crisis has been made worse by a federal government which has defunded or eliminated response teams, rolled back regulations, ignored science and expert advice, treated it like a hoax, and jumped to action too late.
But the last few weeks have shown that Americans are capable of taking a crisis seriously and acting to save each other’s lives. North Carolinians, in particular, are no strangers to natural disasters wreaking havoc, and have sadly become used to coming together amid repeated disruptions from heat waves, hurricanes, and historic flooding. They are experiencing the climate crisis first-hand, and they increasingly recognize it is to blame for this extreme weather and the economic and health consequences it creates. They know the trend isn’t good for their way of life, and that something must be done to ward off an even worse future. But this isn’t just what we think. This is what the numbers show.
In fact, North Carolina voters support a concerted climate mobilization akin to the fight being waged against COVID-19, according to a new poll we commissioned from Public Policy Polling. The response measures will be different, but voters know the seriousness of the challenge is not. The poll clearly shows North Carolinians overwhelmingly support Gov. Roy Cooper’s clean energy plan, and want their federal leaders to respond in kind. Voters recognize the health and economic benefits of regulating carbon emissions and moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Memo from Public Policy Polling
From: Tom Jensen, Public Policy Polling
To: Interested parties
Subject: North Carolinians want serious climate action from their federal leaders
In a poll conducted over the last weekend, we found that by an almost 2:1 margin (61%-32%), North Carolina voters want their leaders to act urgently to combat the climate crisis. This desire is so strong that 56% of them think a major coronavirus-like mobilization “is required to ward off the worst impacts of climate change.” Only 30% disagree.
Which level of government do voters think should be most responsible for taking such action? The federal government, by a mile. 61% think the president and Congress should lead the charge, while only 14% say the state government, and 9% local governments. That’s partly because North Carolinians back Gov. Roy Cooper’s existing response to the crisis, namely his Clean Energy Plan, by a more than 2:1 margin (66% approve and 28% disapprove). The same share of voters think the government should do more to boost North Carolina’s already strong clean energy industry and help people adopt the technology, while only 22% think the government should not do more. One of the ways they can do that is for the federal government to adopt a plan to establish 100% Clean Energy for All and net-zero emissions by 2050, akin to Cooper’s plan. 55% think the federal government should develop such a plan, while only 32% do not.
Public Policy Polling surveyed 781 North Carolina voters on March 13th and 14th on behalf of the NC League of Conservation Voters. 50% of surveys were completed by telephone and 50% by text message. The survey’s margin of error is +/-3.5%.