Ever since Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy's senate seat in Massachusetts, the mood has been darkening on clean energy reform (my own misguided optimism aside). Some of the bill's staunch supporters, like Sen. Diane Fienstein, have come out and said that a climate bill won't happen this year. But they shouldn't give up so easily. Two recent polls, the first done by one of the most influential GOP strategists of the last couple decades, the second from one of Obama's campaign advisers--both find that clean energy reform is supported by Americans.Daniel J Weiss has an entire post on how GOP, Dem polls show climate and clean energy jobs legislation has strong bipartisan support and why this should be a powerful, politically winning message.
Weiss notes that Frank Lutz recently conducted a poll on Republican support for addressing climate change. Here's what he found:
Republican pollster Frank Luntz was a primary architect of the 1994 "Contract with America" that helped the GOP win the House for the first time since 1953. Luntz surveyed 1007 registered voters and conducted "Instant Response" qualitative dial sessions.Pretty fascinating. Of course, it's useful to remember that the majority of Americans wanted a public option in health care reform efforts as well, but the Democratic led Congress couldn't pull that off. They'll need to sharpen up their messaging skills to get this one through.
Despite endless attacks on climate science by Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and other Republican leaders, Luntz found that 43% of Republicans "definitely" or "probably" "believe CLIMATE CHANGE is caused at least in part by humans." Luntz also determined that there is strong bipartisan support for action on global warming:
"A clear majority of Americans believe climate change is happening. This is true of McCain voters and Obama voters alike. And even those that don't still believe it is essential for America to pursue policies that promote energy independence and a cleaner, healthier environment.
"Americans want clean, safe, healthy, secure energy. That's why Republicans and Democrats alike strongly support action to address climate change. Sure, Republicans are more concerned about the national security component and Democrats the health component, but support for action right now spans all partisan and ideological lines."
But the bottom line is that there is broad, bipartisan support for climate action and energy reform--somebody just needs to get the memo to the deflating Democrats.