January 27, 2012

Sharp Divide Between Republicans and Democrats on Energy and the Environment

58 vs. 27

Over half (58%) of Democrats say that environmental protection should be a top priority for President Obama and Congress in 2012; just over a quarter (27%) of Republicans agree.

No issue divides more along partisan lines than the importance of environmental protection – 58% of Democrats say it is a top priority, compared with just 27% of Republicans. Of the 22 items asked about on a recent survey, environmental protection is one of the lowest GOP priorities (along with improving transportation infrastructure and campaign finance reform). Dealing with the nation’s energy problems, by contrast, is of equal importance to both Republicans (55% top priority) and Democrats (57%). Recent surveys have shown that that partisans have very different solutions in mind.

The share of Americans who view dealing with global warming as a top policy priority has slipped from 38% in 2007 to 25% today. Although Democrats (38%) are far more likely than Republicans (11%) to view combating global warming as a top priority, the decline has occurred across party lines. In 2007, 48% of Democrats and 23% of Republicans viewed dealing with global warming as a top priority. Read More