Rasmussen: Voters more worried about gas prices than climate change
A recent Rasmussen poll found a majority of voters are concerned about rising energy costs and favor increased drilling for oil and gas, although most Democratic voters consider reducing climate change a higher priority.
The story below originally appeared at Rasmussen.
A new national telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports and the Heartland Institute finds that 82% of Likely U.S. Voters are concerned about rising energy and gasoline prices, including 60% who are Very Concerned. Only 14% aren’t concerned about the rising price of energy. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Sixty percent (60%) favor a law that would dramatically increase oil and gas drilling in the United States, including 47% who would Strongly Favor such a law. Thirty percent (30%) would oppose a law to increase drilling, while 11% are not sure.
Fifty-two percent (52%) of voters believe Congress and President Joe Biden should focus more on increasing oil and gas drilling to help reduce energy prices, but 34% think the policy focus should be more on limiting carbon dioxide emissions in an attempt to reduce climate change.
While 74% of Republicans and 54% of voters not affiliated with either major party believe increased oil and gas drilling should be the policy focus, 54% of Democratic voters want the president and Congress to focus more on reducing climate change.
“When push comes to shove, polls consistently show energy and economic security trump climate change for a majority of the public when asked which is more important,” said H. Sterling Burnett, director of Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy at the Heartland Institute. “Oil and gas remain, for the foreseeable future, vital to maintaining our present standard of living and lifestyles and to ensure continued economic and national security. This Heartland/Rasmussen poll indicates the public understands that fundamental fact.”
The survey of 1,004 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on April 28 and May 2, 2022 by Rasmussen Reports and the Heartland Institute. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
The survey finds that 50% of voters believe it’s likely that climate change will be catastrophic for humans, plants and animals within the next 100 years, including 30% who think it is Very Likely climate change will have a catastrophic impact within a century. Forty-two percent (42%) don’t believe climate change is likely to be catastrophic within 100 years, including 24% who say such a catastrophe is Not At All Likely.
“Despite three decades of propagandizing, just 50 percent of those surveyed believe climate change poses a real threat to humans or the environment over the next 100 years,” Burnett said in a statement. “By contrast, a strong majority of Americans support government policies that would expand oil and gas production, regardless of climate change.”
Seventy-one percent (71%) of Democrats, but only 29% of Republicans and 49% of unaffiliated voters, consider it at least somewhat likely climate change will be catastrophic for humans, plants and animals within the next 100 years. A majority (50%) of Democrats believe such a catastrophic impact from climate change is Very Likely within 100 years, but just nine percent (9%) of Republicans and 30% of unaffiliated voters share that belief.
Majorities of every political and racial category – 89% of Republicans, 77% of Democrats, 81% of unaffiliated voters, 84% of whites, 73% of black voters, 79% of Hispanics, and 84% of other minorities – are at least somewhat concerned about rising energy and gasoline prices.
Majorities of every racial group – 62% of whites, 54% of black voters, 57% of Hispanics, and 60% of other minorities – favor a law that would dramatically increase oil and gas drilling in the United States. Seventy-six percent (76%) of Republicans and 57% of unaffiliated voters also favor such a law, but only 46% of Democrats would favor a law dramatically increasing U.S. drilling.
Voters under 40 are more likely than older voters to believe climate change is likely to have a catastrophic impact within 100 years, while older voters are more in favor of increased U.S. oil and gas drilling.
More men (56%) than women voters (48%) think Congress and President Biden should focus more on increasing oil and gas drilling to help reduce energy prices.
Unmarried and childless voters are most likely to believe climate change is likely to have a catastrophic impact within 100 years.
Voters with annual incomes over $200,000 are less likely to think Congress and the president should focus more on increasing oil and gas drilling to help reduce energy prices.
President Biden’s strongest supporters are most concerned about climate change. Among voters who Strongly Approve of Biden’s job performance as president, 70% believe it is Very Likely that climate change will be catastrophic for humans, plants and animals within the next 100 years. By contrast, among voters who Strongly Disapprove of Biden’s performance, only eight percent (8%) think such a catastrophic impact of climate change is Very Likely within the next century.
A majority of voters think President Biden shouldn’t seek reelection in 2024, and he would lose a rematch with former President Donald Trump by double-digit margins.
Most voters rate President Joe Biden poor for his handling of the economy, and say inflation will be a very important issue this fall in the midterm elections.
Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to the public as well as Platinum Members.