With all anti-EPA rhetoric flying about the presidential primary debates in recent weeks, GOP contenders would have you believe that Republican voters universally despise the agency. Michele Bachmann dubbed it the “job-killing” organization. Rick Perry called it the “cemetery for jobs.” Mitt Romney backtracked on his past support for carbon regulation. All have been critical of efforts to stymie climate change. Of all the issues up for debate in this primary, distrusting EPA seems to be a rare point of consensus for Republican voters.
Actually, that’s not the case, says a poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the League of Conservation Voters. In fact, voters—and notably, Republicans—overwhelmingly support the EPA action to reduce carbon emissions. A full 71% of voters across the political spectrum indicated supporting EPA efforts to reduce carbon emissions, with 50% of voters indicating a “strong” support. This support trend, the poll reveals, exists in every region of the U.S. and spans across both college-educated and non-college educated voters. Additionally,—contrary to the belief of the primary field—55% of Republicans support EPA action on carbon emissions reduction.
So who is the Republican field pandering to? Fox News viewers, the poll reveals. While viewers of CNN (87%), MSNBC (86 %), and ABC/CBS/NBC (81%) networks supported EPA efforts to stop climate change, Fox News Viewers remained significantly more divided. Only 49% of Fox News viewers expressed the same view.
The divide in Fox News viewers makes much more sense when considering the 2010 revelation that Fox News managing editor Bill Sammon ordered staff to deliberately cast doubt on climate change science.