Republican voters might not like the term climate change, but they support clean energy policies, according to a poll released Monday by a Charlotte-based group.
ClearPath, an advocacy group founded by Charlottean Jay Faison, commissioned the poll as part of an effort to show climate change is not just a Democratic issue.
The message for Republican candidates: It’s all how you frame it.
“Republicans are really interested in widespread, abundant energy and clean energy, and that’s where you can get their attention,” GOP pollster Whit Ayres told reporters in a conference call. He was one of three Republican pollsters who conducted the survey of 1,200 registered voters.
Among the poll’s findings:
▪ Almost three out of four Republicans support the development and use of clean energy.
▪ The best way for GOP candidates to win support for clean energy policies is to talk about them in terms of reducing pollution, creating jobs and reducing American dependence on Middle East sources of energy.
▪ Carbon taxes for power plants and tax incentives for the development of alternative energy sources were each backed by 54 percent of Republicans but opposed by a majority of conservatives.
▪ Most voters as well as 56 percent of Republicans believe the climate is changing and humans play a role.
The poll found a positive climate message – that action will improve health and create jobs, fro example – could fare well with Republican voters, who often have been skeptical of man-made climate change as well as government efforts to address it.
Faison said he started ClearPath to “bridge that divide between climate and conservatives.”