Clean Energy: An Unprecedented Opportunity for Republicans
by Ashlee Rich Stephenson (Morning Consult/WPA Intelligence/Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum) … Recent studies, sponsored by Yale and George Mason University and the Pew Research Center, illustrated that large cross sections of the American public link climate change and carbon emissions to imminent economic and national security obstacles. A July survey fielded by WPA Intelligence and commissioned by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum — both conservative-leaning entities – realized similar conclusions, and provides additional insights into what this means for Republicans. Messaging test results suggest that Republicans have an opening to build support among critical “swing” voting subgroups in advance of the 2018 midterm elections. Indeed, this is particularly effective when “clean energy solutions” are championed through both economic and national security lenses.
Public sentiment in support of clean energy continues to be both clear and escalating on behalf of a growing appetite for increased development and the implementation of solutions that will yield new, good paying jobs, increase national security and protect our air and water. Our recent research reported that fully three quarters of likely voters (75 percent) think the federal government should play a role in the development of new, clean and reliable energy sources, while a substantial 72 percent support the federal government reducing emissions in order to address climate change.
Support for clean energy solutions have reached unprecedented levels among the Republican voting electorate. More than half of self-identified conservatives (52 percent), a majority of 2016 Trump voters (56 percent) and almost six-in-10 Republicans (57 percent) favor a federal government approach to reduce gas emissions, such as methane and carbon dioxide, that cause climate change. This change in party alignment can be attributed to the rise of millennial Republicans, 65 percent of whom support the federal government in taking steps to reduce emissions. READ MORE