A majority of Americans say they support transitioning to 100% clean energy by 2035, regardless of if they are living in a blue or red state, according to a survey analyzed by researchers from Third Way and the University of California at Santa Barbara.
The survey demonstrates the potential popularity for the idea of clean energy and could serve as a warning for congressmen who are against clean energy clauses in the infrastructure bills currently taking shape, according to the researchers.
"It shows us that there is a base of support for federal action to move the country to 100% clean electricity in every single state across the country, and that's all blue, all red states, swing states," Third Way climate and energy program deputy director deputy director told Axios.
The researchers used a statistical model to analyze survey results from 20,455 individuals. Each person was asked the same question: "Would you support or oppose the government moving the country to a 100% clean energy electricity grid by 2035?"
They then used demographic data from the Census to determine how it may apply regionally, state-by-state, and congressional district-by-district, discovering that backing among likely voters for President Joe Biden's clean energy goal is surprisingly broad.
- The majority of voters in every state and in all but six congressional districts support the goal of a 100% clean energy grid.
- Deep red states such as Mississippi and Alabama also had clear majority support for Biden's goal, with even coal-producing states, such as Wyoming and West Virginia, having narrow majority support (52% and 53%, respectively).
- The policy goal was also popular in states with midterm election campaigns, such as Arizona, Georgia, and Ohio.
University of California, Santa Barbara political science Prof. Matto Mildenberger, who is a co-author of the survey, said the techniques used in the survey match the true values of independent polling data to within 3 percentage points and are attuned to views at the congressional district level to within 7 percentage points or less.
However, Axios pointed out several potential drawbacks to the accuracy of the survey, especially since the Third Way has an agenda in pushing for Biden's climate policy.
It did not ask any follow-ups about potential consequences of the transition to clean energy technologies, such as increased energy costs and did not identify the goal as being connected to Biden, which could have affected how people responsed to the proposals.
Axios also suggested that the polling is limited since it does not give answers as to what specific policies voters prefer in order to reach the goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035.
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