Washington, D.C. — A new bipartisan poll by Global Strategy Group and Bellwether Research shows that both the Republican tax plan and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge are deeply unpopular in eight key congressional districts. Voting to allow drilling in the Arctic Refuge will generate significant backlash among constituents, who said that they would have a less favorable view of their representative if they voted for drilling — from 49 percent less approving of Rep. Brian Mast (R, FL-18) to 68 percent less favorable toward Rep. John Faso (R, NY-19).
The League of Conservation Voters released the polling as Congress continues to debate including Arctic Refuge drilling in the Republican tax bill. Other members included in the polling are Reps. Darrell Issa (R, CA-49), Brian Fitzpatrick (R, PA-8), Bruce Poliquin (R, ME-2), Elise Stefanik (R, NY-21), Ryan Costello (R, PA-6) and Patrick Meehan (R, PA-7).
“The GOP tax plan is unpopular to begin with, but constituents in these key districts oppose opening up the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling even more,” said League of Conservation Voters Deputy Legislative Director Alex Taurel. “Selling out one of our nation’s most iconic wild places to Big Oil has no place in the tax debate, and constituents will hold accountable members of Congress who support Republican leadership’s polar payout.”
A memo summarizing the poll results can be found here. Key findings include:
- Trump’s tax plan faces solid opposition across the board with just 34 percent in favor of it passing and 48 percent opposed — it’s most unpopular in NY-19, where opposition outpaces support by 27 points.
- Large majorities oppose drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, with opposition in the double-digits across all districts. Where drilling polls best, it’s still down by an impressive 23 points.
- Opposition to drilling crosses party lines and demographic groups, with less conservative Republicans opposed to drilling by 43 points and Independents opposed by 36 points.
- Pro-drilling arguments fail to persuade and on average, 58 percent of constituents would be less favorable toward their representative in Congress if he or she supported drilling.
Congress is expected to vote on Senator Lisa Murkowski’s plan to drill in the Arctic Refuge as part of the Republican tax proposal. The last time that the Arctic Refuge faced a threat this serious – in 2005 – a group of House Republicans banded together and successfully convinced leadership to remove the provision from a broader budget bill.
LCV is encouraging people nationwide to contact their representatives in Congress and urge them to oppose drilling in the Arctic Refuge, including running a $750,000 advertising campaign on digital and TV in several congressional districts.
The Arctic Refuge is America’s most iconic wildlife refuge and one of the largest remaining intact ecosystems in the world. It has sustained the Gwich’in people for centuries, which is why they call it “The Sacred Place Where Life Begins.” The Arctic Refuge is also home to an incredible array of wildlife, including caribou, wolves, polar bears, and nearly 200 species of migratory birds.
Detailed summaries of polling in each district can be found here: