Survey: Tea Party, Independent Voters Differ On Climate, Clean Energy Issues

Candidates in 2010 who assume that Tea Party supporters and Independents will respond to the same messages on climate and clean energy issues appear to be mistaken, according to a new survey of more than 1,000 Americans conducted by Opinion Research Corp. (ORC) for the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (CSI).

According to the poll, Independents are more than twice as likely as Tea Party supporters (62% versus 27%) to see global warming as a problem in need of a solution, compared to 39% of Republicans and 82% of Democrats.

Tea Party supporters are more than twice as likely as Independents (34% versus 15%) to see no need for leadership on global warming, compared to 29% of Republicans and 8% of Democrats, the poll found.

Seventy-one percent of Americans – including 70% of Independents, 55% of Tea Party supporters, 63% of Republicans and 80% of Democrats – believe that the U.S. needs to be a clean energy jobs and technology leader and that it should take action even if other nations are not, according to the poll.

‘These findings point to a greater diversity of views among Tea Party supporters and Independents than is widely assumed to be the case, and this has major implications for the 2010 elections and future elections,’ says Graham Hueber, a senior researcher at ORC. ‘What we are seeing here is a common mistake with which pollsters are all too familiar: the tendency on the part of the media and others to simplify the story by lumping together groups rather than being careful to parse out the specific points on which they actually differ, and sometimes quite dramatically so.’

SOURCE: Civil Society Institute

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