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Heartland/Rasmussen Poll: Likely Voters' Views on Climate Change

December 3, 2019

The following is a national survey of likely voters published by The Heartland Institute, a national free-market think tank, and Rasmussen Reports, one of America’s leading polling firms.

The following is a national survey of likely voters published by The Heartland Institute, a national free-market think tank, and Rasmussen Reports, one of America’s leading polling firms.

The survey is published here publicly for the first time. It will also be published by Rasmussen Reports this week.

For questions about the survey or to book a Heartland policy expert to discuss the results of the survey, contact Heartland Editorial Director Justin Haskins at Jhaskins@heartland.org.

1) How likely is it that climate change will be catastrophic for humans, plants and animals – very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely or not at all likely?

  • 43% Very likely
  • 20% Somewhat likely
  • 18% Not very likely
  • 16% Not at all likely
  •   3% Not sure

2) Is climate change caused primarily by human activity or by long-term planetary trends?

  • 48% Human activity
  • 38% Long-term planetary trends
  • 14% Not sure

3) Should federal or state governments punish with fines or jail time fossil-fuel business owners and/or executives? (answered only by those who said climate change was caused by human activity – 477 voters)

  • 50% Yes
  • 25% No
  • 25% Not sure

4) Should federal or state governments require people to engage in activities that will lower carbon-dioxide emissions? (answered only by those who said climate change was caused by human activity – 477 voters)

  • 76% Yes
  • 14% No
  • 10% Not sure

5) Should federal or state governments require people to limit their air travel to help stop climate change? (answered only by those who said climate change was caused by human activity – 477 voters)

  • 34% Yes
  • 50% No
  • 16% Not sure

6) Should federal or state governments require people to limit their consumption of meat to help stop climate change? (answered only by those who said climate change was caused by human activity – 477 voters)

  • 24% Yes
  • 61% No
  • 15% Not sure

The following two questions were also included in our polling results released on November 25, 2019. See link here: https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/the-following-is-a-national-survey-of-likely-voters-published-by-the-heartland-institute-a-national-free-market-think-tank-and-rasmussen-reports-one-of-americas-leading-polling-firms

7) Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of Bernie Sanders?

  • 18% Very favorable
  • 29% Somewhat favorable
  • 17% Somewhat unfavorable
  • 31% Very unfavorable
  •   5% Not sure

8) Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of Elizabeth Warren?

  • 17% Very favorable
  • 25% Somewhat favorable
  • 15% Somewhat unfavorable
  • 34% Very unfavorable
  •   9% Not sure

IMPORTANT Crosstabs and Statistics Related to These Questions

Note that in the following results, those who answered “other” when asked for party affiliation are referred to as “independents” below. Respondents were given three options for party affiliation: “Republican,” “Democrat,” and “other.”

Climate Change, General

  • Less than half of independents (42%) say it’s “very likely” that “climate change will be catastrophic for humans, plants and animals,” compared to 24% for Republicans and 62% for Democrats.
     
  • Likely voters aged 18­–39 were the age demographic most likely (49%) to say “climate change will be catastrophic for humans, plants and animals,” compared to 39% for those aged 40–64 and 42% for those 65 and older.
     
  • More than half of likely voters (52%) said climate change is primarily being caused by “long-term planetary trends” or that they are “not sure” of the cause. Less than half (48%) said it’s being caused “primarily by human activity.”
     
  • One in three Democrats (33%) say climate change is primarily being caused by “long-term planetary trends” or that they are “not sure” of the cause.
  • 84% of those who believe human activity is the primary cause of climate change, and 42% (a plurality) of those who said it is “somewhat likely” that climate change will be catastrophic also said climate change is primarily caused “by long-term planetary trends.”
     
  • Of those Democrats who said they believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 37% said federal or state governments should “require people to limit their air travel to help stop climate change.”
     
  • Of those Democrats who said they believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” one in four (27%) said federal or state governments should “require people to limit their consumption of meat to help stop climate change.”

Climate Change and Supporters of Bernie Sanders

  • 80% of those who say they have a “very favorable” view of Bernie Sanders said it’s “very likely” that “climate change will be catastrophic for humans, plants and animals.”
     
  • 22% of those who say they have a “very favorable” view of Bernie Sanders said climate change is “primarily” caused by “planetary trends” or that they are “not sure” of the cause.
     
  • Of those who said they have a “very favorable” view of Bernie Sanders and believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 63% said federal or state governments should “punish with fines or jail time fossil-fuel business owners and/or executives.”
     
  • Of those who said they have a “very favorable” view of Bernie Sanders and believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 85% said federal or state governments should “require people to engage in activities that will lower carbon-dioxide emissions.”
     
  • Of those who said they have a “very favorable” view of Bernie Sanders and believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 47% said federal or state governments should “require people to limit their air travel to help stop climate change.”
     
  • Of those who said they have a “very favorable” view of Bernie Sanders and believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 36% said federal or state governments should “require people to limit their consumption of meat to help stop climate change.”

Climate Change and Supporters of Elizabeth Warren

  • 80% of those who say they have a “very favorable” view of Elizabeth Warren said it’s “very likely” that “climate change will be catastrophic for humans, plants and animals.”
     
  • 21% of those who say they have a “very favorable” view of Elizabeth Warren said climate change is “primarily” caused by “planetary trends” or that they are “not sure” of the cause.
     
  • Of those who said they have a “very favorable” view of Elizabeth Warren and believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 69% said federal or state governments should “punish with fines or jail time fossil-fuel business owners and/or executives.”
     
  • Of those who said they have a “very favorable” view of Elizabeth Warren and believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 83% said federal or state governments should “require people to engage in activities that will lower carbon-dioxide emissions.”
     
  • Of those who said they have a “very favorable” view of Elizabeth Warren and believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 39% said federal or state governments should “require people to limit their air travel to help stop climate change.”
     
  • Of those who said they have a “very favorable” view of Elizabeth Warren and believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 37% said federal or state governments should “require people to limit their consumption of meat to help stop climate change.”

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence, except questions 3-6, which have a margin of sampling error of +/-4.5%.

See more results from the poll at the links below:

Heartland/Rasmussen Poll: Likely Voters Reject Socialism, Socialist Candidates, Repeal of Second Amendment

Heartland/Rasmussen Poll: Likely Voters Support Free Speech, Reject Socialism

Author
Justin Haskins is the Editorial Director and a Research Fellow at The Heartland Institute.
jhaskins@heartland.org @JustinTHaskins
Justin Haskins Talks Climate Change With Tucker Carlson

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