November 18, 2011

Partisan Divide Over Alternative Energy Widens

83 vs. 53

The partisan divide over federal government funding for alternative energy research has widened. While Democratic support has remained high at 83%, Republican support has dropped to 53%, a 29 point decline from April 2009.

Public support for increased federal funding on research into alternative energy technology, including solar technology, has decreased substantially since the early months of the Obama administration, with nearly all the decline coming from Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

Overall, 68% of the public favors increasing federal funding for research on wind, solar and hydrogen energy technology; 26% are opposed. From 2006 through early 2009, roughly 80% supported increased federal funding for alternative energy research.

Since April 2009, there has been a 30 point decline in the percentage of Republicans and Republican leaners who support more federal funding for research into alternative energy technologies. Currently, 53% favor this policy, down from 82% in April 2009. There has been little change in opinions among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. Currently, 83% of Democrats favor increased funding for research into alternative energy technologies.

The survey was conducted Nov. 3-6 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Read More