POLLS FIND PUBLIC CONCERN W/CLIMATE CHANGE DOWN
Public's Priorities for 2010: Economy, Jobs, Terrorism; Energy Concerns Fall, Deficit Concerns Rise
January 25, 2010 (Pew Research Center for People & the Press)
"As Barack Obama begins his second year in office, the public’s priorities for the president and Congress remain much as they were one year ago. Strengthening the nation’s economy and improving the job situation continue to top the list. And, in the wake of the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack on a Detroit-bound airliner, defending the country from future terrorist attacks also remains a top priority.
"At the same time, the public has shifted the emphasis it assigns to two major policy issues: dealing with the nation’s energy problem and reducing the budget deficit. About half (49%) say that dealing with the nation’s energy problem should be a top priority, down from 60% a year ago. At the same time, there has been a modest rise in the percentage saying that reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority, from 53% to 60%…Other policy priorities show little change from a year ago…"
click to enlarge
"While concern over the budget deficit has gone up, the percentage giving priority to dealing with the nation’s energy problem has declined significantly – and this decline has taken place among Republicans, Democrats and independents alike. In the current survey, 49% rate energy a top priority, down 11 points from 60% in 2009. In the late 2000s, about six-in-ten consistently gave top priority to dealing with the nation’s energy problem. The current number is more in line with views from the early years of that decade, when the percentage that said dealing with the nation’s energy problem should be a top priority ranged from the low-to-mid 40s…
"Dealing with global warming ranks at the bottom of the public’s list of priorities; just 28% consider this a top priority, the lowest measure for any issue tested in the survey. Since 2007, when the item was first included on the priorities list, dealing with global warming has consistently ranked at or near the bottom. Even so, the percentage that now says addressing global warming should be a top priority has fallen 10 points from 2007, when 38% considered it a top priority. Such a low ranking is driven in part by indifference among Republicans: just 11% consider global warming a top priority, compared with 43% of Democrats and 25% of independents."
click to enlarge
"Protecting the environment fares somewhat better than dealing with global warming on the public’s list of priorities, though it still falls on the lower half of the list overall. Some 44% say that protecting the environment should be a top priority for Obama and Congress, little changed from 2009…
"Strengthening the nation’s economy, improving the job situation and defending the country from future terrorist attacks are far-and-away the top three policy priorities for the public…Democrats also are far more likely than Republicans to put a top priority on dealing with global warming, the problems of poor and needy people, protecting the environment, reducing health care costs and improving the educational system. In each case, Democrats are at least 20 points more likely than Republicans to consider each of these issues top priorities…Republicans, by contrast, place [20 points] more emphasis than do Democrats on strengthening the military, dealing with illegal immigration, and reducing the influence of lobbyists and special interests in Washington…"