Tuesday, October 07, 2014

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Democrats at Risk of Global Warming Election Backlash
"Recent polling numbers may induce Republicans on the November ballot to turn certain Democrats’ obsession with global warming into a Republican weapon, slamming Democrats for ignoring much more important issues.

Several Democratic politicians and funding groups are attempting to make global warming a key issue in the November elections even though the public considers global warming a very low priority. To date, Republicans in such elections have assumed a low-key approach, trusting the global warming attacks will not find much political traction. Recent polling numbers, however, may induce Republicans to be bolder on the issue.

In mid-August, Gallup asked more than 1,000 American adults the following open-ended question: “What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?” Gallup listed the top 12 responses, which accounted for 99 percent of the answers. Global warming did not make the list. If any of the 1,032 American adults answered global warming, the answer failed to reach even the 1 percent threshold.

In another poll released in late August, the Pew Research Center and USA Today presented more than 1,500 American adults with a list of nine potential threats to the United States and asked the respondents to indicate which ones they consider to be “major threats.” Global warming ranked dead last among Republicans and Independents, but first among Democrats.

When Democrats and Republicans have strong differences of opinion on a particular issue, polling among independents typically offers clues regarding who should and will emphasize the issue. Given that independents side with Republicans on the relative unimportance of global warming claims, it would seem most likely Republicans would push the issue and Democrats would not. Nevertheless, moneyed interests and environmental extremists have convinced some Democrats to emphasize their unpopular global warming views in the current election cycle."

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