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CLIMATE CHANGE

Green New Deal Proponents Not Uniformly Behind a Broadened Platform

Quarter of Republican voters said they back the Green New Deal

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) speaks as Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and other Congressional Democrats listen during a news conference in front of the U.S. Capitol Feb. 7, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Markey and Ocasio-Cortez held a news conference to unveil their Green New Deal resolution. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
  • 37% of Green New Deal supporters said it should focus solely on climate change.

  • 56% of Republicans oppose the Green New Deal, while 72 percent of Democrats support it.

Nearly half of the voting public supports the Green New Deal, but over a third of the platorm’s backers think it should focus on addressing climate change rather than integrate a host of additional policies, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico poll.

In the Feb. 15-19 survey conducted among 1,914 registered voters, 48 percent said they support the Green New Deal resolution introduced in Congress. Twenty-eight percent said they oppose the measure, and almost a quarter of voters (24 percent) said they were unsure or had no opinion. The poll’s margin of error is 2 percentage points.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) introduced identical resolutions in their respective chambers on Feb. 7.The non-binding bills, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he intends to bring to a floor vote, describe both energy and labor policies under an economic mobilization that Green New Deal advocates have put forward.

But while 28 percent of voters said the Green New Deal should incorporate environmental justice, social and economic policy issues into its platform, 32 percent said it should focus specifically on addressing climate change. When asked which of those two options most closely adhered to their view, 40 percent said they were unsure.

Of the 914 voters surveyed who said they support the Green New Deal, 37 percent said it should focus specifically on climate change, while 46 percent said it should include social and economic elements. That sample has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

However, almost one in two voters overall (49 percent) said they support the inclusion of workers’ rights and union job creation in the Green New Deal, compared with 28 percent of voters who oppose it and 24 percent who are unsure or without an opinion.

Supporters of the Green New Deal, as a group, are proportionally more concerned about climate change than the registered voter population. Among the 914 voters polled who said they support the Green New Deal, 62 percent said they are very concerned about climate change’s impact on the U.S. environment, compared to 39 percent of voters overall. In contrast, 11 percent of those who said they oppose the Green New Deal said they were very concerned about a changing climate.  

Conservatives have called the Green New Deal a “pipedream” and “socialist Christmas list,” while many of the current top contenders for the 2020 Democratic nomination have voiced support for the idea of a Green New Deal and are co-sponsoring the resolution in the Senate. They survey found most Republicans (56 percent) opposed the resolution, compared with 72 percent of Democratic voters who backed it.

Republicans also registered less concern about the effect of climate change on the U.S. environment than the 88 percent of Democrats who were concerned.