Two-Thirds of Americans Want Next President to Act on Climate Change, New Poll Shows

Sixty-three Percent Want Strong Action Soon After New President Takes


Apr 30, 2008, 01:00 ET from The Presidential Climate Action Project

    LOS ANGELES, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A new poll released today shows
 that two-thirds of all U.S. adults (66%) believe it is important that the
 next president of the United States have a policy which addresses climate
 change. Almost half, or 44%, believe it is extremely or very important, and
 only 14% believe it is not at all important. A significant majority of
 Americans -- sixty-three percent (63%) of U.S. adults -- say it is
 important that the new president, soon after taking office, initiates
 strong action to address global warming/climate change.
     The findings of the poll, commissioned by the non-partisan Presidential
 Climate Action Project (PCAP) and conducted by Harris Interactive, may
 surprise experts. "As some polls show, when asked broadly about what issues
 are important, the environment or climate change do not rank near the top
 of those lists," said Bill Becker, PCAP's executive director. "But when
 asked about the overall importance of climate change, it is clear from
 these numbers that strong majorities of American voters want action on the
 issue, and expect our next president to do something soon after taking
     The poll found that more women than men want a president with such a
 policy (69% versus 63%). The poll also found that the importance of the
 next president having a climate change policy is significantly stronger in
 the Northeast (74%) followed by the West (68%). Both Hispanic Americans
 (75%) and African-Americans (72%) say it is important that the new
 president have a policy on climate change.
     Asked about the urgency they place on the next president initiating
 strong action to address climate change soon after taking office, 63% of
 likely U.S. voters believe such urgent action is important. Seven out of 10
 Hispanic Americans (70%) and 68% of African-Americans support urgent
 presidential action. Forty-one percent (41%) of likely U.S. voters believe
 it is extremely or very important that the president takes strong action to
 address climate change soon after taking office, and only 16% believe it is
 not at all important.
     The poll found that people who are more certain to vote are more likely
 to believe it is important for the next president to have a policy for
 climate change; and that he or she initiate action in this area soon after
 taking office.
     Asked about voter preference for the three major-party candidates among
 people who are absolutely certain to vote, 22% believe that Obama is the
 candidate who offers the strongest policy on climate change; 21% believe it
 is Clinton and 8% believe it is McCain. Importantly, almost half of those
 absolutely certain to vote -- 49% -- do not yet know.
     Among the total sample the same overall pattern holds; when naming
 their preference for the candidate with the strongest climate change policy
 19 percent believe it is Obama; 18% believe it is Clinton; 8% believe it is
 McCain, and 55% are uncertain.
     "Here the poll identifies a clear disparity," Becker said. "The
 overwhelming majority of Americans want a strong, urgent climate change
 policy, but in the voters' minds, none of the presidential candidates has
 yet emerged as the leader on climate change issues. A clear need exists for
 candidates to make the issue of climate change and their policies more
 prominent in the current race."
     As might be expected, women ages 45-54 are much more likely to see
 Clinton as the candidate with a strong climate change policy (28%).
 Interestingly, more men than women (24% versus 16%) see Obama as having a
 strong climate change policy, this occurs across all age segments and is
 highest among men over 55 years old (27%). Among the 8% who favor McCain,
 the largest group is in the South (11%), and men over 55 (11%) are more
 likely to see him as the candidate with the strongest climate change
     The Presidential Climate Action Project is a non-profit, non-partisan
 initiative of the Wirth Chair at the University of Colorado Denver School
 of Public Affairs. In December of 2007 the project issued a preliminary
 report that includes more than 300 proposals for changes in climate-related
 federal policies and programs for the next President to undertake in the
 first 100 days after inauguration. The full text of the report can be
 accessed at
     This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris
 Interactive on behalf of The Presidential Climate Action Project between
 April 9 - April 11, 2008 among 2,092 U.S. adults (aged 18+). No estimates
 of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is
Contact: David Langness 310-566-3621 Diane Carman 303-315-5818 diane.carman@cudenver.e

SOURCE The Presidential Climate Action Project