WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the League of Conservation Voters released results from an Election Day poll showing that the policies of investing in wind and solar, requiring energy efficient appliances and raising fuel economy standards are widely supported by all sectors of the public and should be a top priority for the next congress and the Obama administration. The electorate preferred candidates who supported investment in clean, renewable energy and Republican attempts to harness offshore drilling as a campaign issue failed. The poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, sampled 851 voters in 11 battleground states.
“‘Drill, baby, drill’ may have echoed in the halls of the Republican convention, but the party faithful were the only ones chanting,” LCV President Gene Karpinski said. “The choice for most voters was clear: a clean energy future that will create jobs and protect our planet or the failed energy policies of the Bush Administration. Outside of Sarah Palin’s rallies, the vast majority of Americans were voting for ‘clean, baby, clean’.”
While many candidates sought to use drilling to sway voters, that message failed to influence a significant number of voters. Opposition to more oil drilling ranked last of six possible reasons to oppose Democratic candidates, with only 14% of voters citing it as a reason to vote against Senator Obama and only 18% of voters citing it as a reason to oppose a Democratic House or Senate candidate.
30% cited support for clean energy as a reason to support Democratic candidate, ranking it the #2 reason after the economy.
Meanwhile, candidates’ support for tax breaks for oil companies and the expansion of nuclear power ranked 4th and 3rd, respectively, as reasons to vote against these candidates. 25% believed that Senator McCain’s ties to the oil industry were cause to vote against him (only 3% fewer than cited his choice of Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate and 8% more than cited a continuation of the war in Iraq). 27% cited such ties as reason to vote against Republican House and Senate candidates.
“This election was in many ways a referendum on America’s clean energy future, and the results have given President Obama and the 111th Congress a clear mandate to take immediate action,” Karpinski continued. “Those members of Congress who will continue to stand in the way of meaningful global warming and clean energy legislation should take note of these numbers and be prepared to defend their actions in 2010.”
See the attached memo for more details from the poll on the role of clean energy in the 2008 election.
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