Voters View Energy Policy as Priority in November
Washington, D.C. — In a brand new National Energy Innovation Survey announced this morning, Hillary Clinton currently holds a five percentage lead point in the head to head matchup with Donald Trump. The poll, conducted by TargetPoint Consulting and Just Win Strategies, was sponsored by nine leading energy policy advocacy groups who are set to begin the Embracing Energy Innovation Summit on Tuesday on Capitol Hill. The survey also revealed that voters view energy policy as a key determining factor in the November elections.
“November is increasingly shaping up to be an energy election in America. While there are visible political divisions in the country, it’s clear that likely voters in both parties are prepared to support candidates who present a detailed clean energy policy agenda. Voters clearly view clean energy as a way to bolster domestic job creation, strengthen our national security, and ensure clean air and water for communities across America,” said James Dozier, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions.
The survey was sponsored by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, R Street, Young Conservatives for Energy Reform, ConservAmerica, the Conservation Leadership Council, OpportunityUS, the Niskanen Center, republicEn and the Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
- HILLARY CLINTON 45%
- DONALD TRUMP 40%
- OTHER 8%
- UNSURE 6%
- WON’T VOTE 2%
At a time when national security and jobs are top of the mind concerns, voters still place an overwhelming priority on the energy debate. Seventy-five percent (75%) of voters polled believe that energy policy should be a priority, with 37% saying it should be a very high priority. The strongest support for action on energy policy is among millennials ages 25-34, 87% believe this should be a high priority. Large majorities of Republicans (64%), Independents (75%), and Democrats (84%) see energy policy, specifically the development of renewables, as a high priority.
Voters are strongly supportive of the government taking steps to reduce carbon emissions. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of all likely general election voters favor, with 43% strongly, the federal government taking steps to reduce emissions. Democrats show high support (86%), and a strong majority (67%) of Independents favor taking steps. Republicans are split almost equally on this issue: 48% favor, 46% oppose taking steps to reduce carbon emissions.
Voters believe climate change is real and they want a candidate who recognizes the challenges associated with it. With 7 in 10 voters believing that climate change is real – candidate statements on energy policy and climate change will matter in this election. Fifty-five percent (55%) of all voters are more likely to support a candidate who believes human activity contributes to climate change and even more critical, 65% overall are less likely to support a candidate who believes climate change is a hoax.
“It is clear from these results that the energy debate is connected to voters’ top of the mind concerns. The energy debate is a priority for a host of reasons that transcend partisanship, and is viewed through the critical lenses of national security, jobs, the economy, and the environment. Views on climate change are progressing, and we continue to see voters across the spectrum believe we need to take action to when it comes to clean energy solutions and innovation,” said pollster Ashlee Stephenson of Just Win Strategies.
“Regardless of the national security and economic obstacles facing our country, likely voters are demanding answers from their presidential candidates on the energy challenges facing America. It’s clear that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would be well served by directly addressing climate change and supporting clean energy policies that resonate strongly with voters,” said Samantha Artley of TargetPoint Consulting.
“This data clearly shows that young conservatives see clean energy as a growth opportunity for the economy. This is an area where Conservative policy makers can lead on solutions that will ignite a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs, while offering a clear alternative approach that favors the free market over regulation,” said Michele Combs of Young Conservatives for Energy Reform.
“Voters clearly support actions that will modernize our energy markets here in the United States. This data represents a path forward for Republicans to change the narrative on energy and environmental issues in this country, and move away from arguments over climate and towards solutions that will strengthen our economy and national security. Voters across the board support common-sense action and the GOP has an opportunity to make inroads across the board through proactive leadership,” said Rob Sisson of ConservAmerica.
“The fact that 7 in 10 voters support a role for the federal government in reducing carbon emissions is encouraging for the conversations we need to have about America’s energy future. There are important immediate actions that can be taken today from energy efficiency, to investments in clean energy R&D, to updates in our energy infrastructure that will have a positive impact on our carbon footprint. There are common-sense, conservative ideas that can be taken today that will positively impact our evolving energy debate,” said Mark Reynolds of Citizens Climate Lobby.
“As a conservative I am committed to a free and open market that drives competition and innovation. The American people are ready for cleaner energy options to be made available, and conservatives in Congress can lead the way by reducing the regulatory barriers that slow the development of hydro, wind, nuclear, and solar power. Just like every other industry, free markets and innovation are what will drive job creation in energy – not burdensome regulations,” said Eli Lehrer of R Street Institute.
“Clearly voters are ready to move past the arguments over climate science in this country and are ready to focus on solutions. As the electorate changes with each successive election, Republicans have an opportunity to offer voters an energy plan that is focused on growth, energy security, and environmental health – not burdensome regulations. In fact, 77% of voters in the National Energy Innovation Survey said they would reward a candidate who promotes diversification and growth of clean energy sources,” said Former Congressman Bob Inglis of republicEn.
“The National Energy Innovation Survey should make it clear to policy makers across the political spectrum that voters are tired of inaction when it comes to modernizing America’s energy policies. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents are clearly open to a conversation on the ways forward to innovate our energy infrastructure while reducing our carbon footprint. The fact that 7 in 10 voters nationally and 86% of millennials support action to reduce carbon should encourage policy makers to act on commonsense reforms no matter how modest the solution,” said Jerry Taylor of Niskanen.
“Understandably, voters, especially younger voters, support the development of all our energy resources. In fact, the National Energy Innovation Survey shows that 75% of voters place a high priority on the development and exploration of renewable energy, seeing it as an opportunity to strengthen the economy and make us energy independent. For young conservatives this is a question about their economic security and they are ready for policy makers to take action,” said Matt Swift of Opportunity.us.
The national survey of likely general election voters was conducted June 14-18, 2016. 1000 interviews were collected nationally among registered voters who are likely to vote in the General Election as well as 200 additional interviews each in the target states of New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The margin-of-error of the survey is +/- 3.1%.
Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization advocating for comprehensive and responsible solutions to our nation’s energy issues. The organization is comprised of citizens from around the country who believe it is time for politicians in Washington to stop arguing, and start working on ways to solve our nation’s energy crisis.