Voters Support Clean Energy in U.S. House Races Across the Country, Polls Find

So Much for "Conventional Wisdom:" New Data on 23 Democratic House Incumbents Show That Support for Climate Change Bill Could Help in Tough Races

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Voters from Connecticut to California and Michigan to Florida are more likely to support candidates who support an energy bill that cuts climate change pollution, based on new poll results released today.

New surveys by Public Policy Polling (PPP) for the NRDC Action Fund from 23 key Congressional Districts show that voters favor a clean energy plan that creates jobs and limits climate change pollution by an average of 52 percent.

Voters supported clean energy legislation and by a clear majority in 21 out of 23 races, with two races in a statistical tie.  Moreover, they were more likely to support candidates who supported such a bill by an impressive 20-point spread.

The surveys conducted between October 8 and October 15 covered 23 closely watched U.S. House races with incumbents who voted for the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) --Jerry McNerney (CA-11); Betsy Markey (CO-4); Alan Boyd (FL-2); Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24);  Alan Grayson (FL-8); Leonard Boswell (IA-3); Debbie Halvorsen (IL-11); Phil Hare (IL-17); Frank Kratovil (MD-1); Mark Schauer (MI-7); Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1); Harry Teague (NM-2); Dina Titus (NV-3); John Hall (NY-19); Steve Driehaus (OH-1); Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15); John Boccieri (OH-16); Zach Space (OH-18); Paul Kanjorski (PA-11); Patrick Murphy (PA-8); John Spratt (SC-5); Tom Perriello (VA-5); and Steve Kagan (WI-8).

The NRDC Action Fund selected these districts based on ratings from independent analysts that showed these incumbents were in close races and because the outcome of these contests could determine which party will control the House of Representatives.  

"Our poll presented our opposition's main, misleading talking point - that a climate bill is akin to an energy tax," said Heather Taylor-Miesle, NRDC Action Fund director "Voters overwhelmingly rejected this idea in favor of a bill that creates millions of new jobs, reduces our use of foreign oil, holds corporate polluters accountable and cuts the pollution that causes climate change. The poll results challenge political spin which says a 'yes' vote on ACES will hurt candidates running for re-election. The results show that clean energy and cutting pollution are actually issues voters support."

"Voters will have a lot of concerns on their minds in November, and these polls show that one of those could be clean energy if candidates make it an issue," said Wesley Warren, director of programs for the NRDC Action Fund and leader of the polling project.  "Again and again the public has called for action to move America forward on a clean energy path, and they will be the ones to decide why candidates deserve their support, not the pundits."

In order to create accurate findings, the central question in the 23 surveys about clean energy legislation was posed by giving the arguments on both sides.  Voters were asked:

"Congress is considering an energy bill to move America towards a new energy future including investments in wind and solar power. Supporters say the energy bill will create millions of new jobs, reduce our use of foreign oil, hold corporate polluters accountable and cut the pollution that causes climate change. Opponents say the bill will cost companies money and is like an energy tax that would actually reduce jobs. Do you agree more with supporters of the energy bill or opponents of the energy bill?"

Even when hearing both sides of the argument, voters generally preferred candidates who backed clean energy legislation.  

The results of the 23 polls reports are available online at http://www.nrdcactionfund.org/polls/october2010/.  Additional details from all the polls are available on request.  

The NRDC Action Fund's mission is to achieve the passage of legislation that jump-starts the clean energy economy, reduces pollution, and sustains vibrant communities for all Americans. Now is the time for leadership and action from our elected officials — our current goal is a comprehensive clean energy policy that will repower our economy and fuel our future. http://www.nrdcactionfund.org

Public Policy Polling is a national survey research firm located in Raleigh, North Carolina.  It was named by the Wall Street Journal  as one of the two most accurate polling companies in the country for its swing state polling in 2008. More recently it was recognized by the Washington Post and Politico for its pinpoint polling of the surprising results in the Delaware Republican Senate primary and the Massachusetts Senate special election.

SOURCE NRDC Action Fund, Washington, DC



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