New Survey Shows Voters Take Surprising Views on Climate Change, Socialism

Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’ Is About Socialism, Not Global Warming

The following is a national survey of likely voters published by The Heartland Institute, a national free-market think tank, and Rasmussen Reports, one of America’s leading polling firms, on the topic of climate change. For more socialism-related surveys, click here.

Conducted November 13-14, 2019
By The Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports

1*How likely is it that climate change will be catastrophic for humans, plants and animals – very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely or not at all likely?

43% Very likely
20% Somewhat likely
18% Not very likely
16% Not at all likely
3% Not sure

2*Is climate change caused primarily by human activity or by long-term planetary trends?

48% Human activity
38% Long-term planetary trends
14% Not sure

3*Should federal or state governments punish with fines or jail time fossil-fuel business owners and/or executives? (answered only by those who said climate change was caused by human activity – 477 voters)

50% Yes
25% No
25% Not sure

4*Should federal or state governments require people to engage in activities that will lower carbon-dioxide emissions? (answered only by those who said climate change was caused by human activity – 477 voters)

76% Yes
14% No
10% Not sure

5*Should federal or state governments require people to limit their air travel to help stop climate change? (answered only by those who said climate change was caused by human activity – 477 voters)

34% Yes
50% No
16% Not sure

6*Should federal or state governments require people to limit their consumption of meat to help stop climate change? (answered only by those who said climate change was caused by human activity – 477 voters)

24% Yes
61% No
15% Not sure

The following two questions were also included in our polling results released on November 25, 2019. See link here: https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/the-following-is-a-national-survey-of-likely-voters-published-by-the-heartland-institute-a-national-free-market-think-tank-and-rasmussen-reports-one-of-americas-leading-polling-firms

7* Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of Bernie Sanders?

18% Very favorable
29% Somewhat favorable
17% Somewhat unfavorable
31% Very unfavorable
5% Not sure

8* Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable impression of Elizabeth Warren?

17% Very favorable
25% Somewhat favorable
15% Somewhat unfavorable
34% Very unfavorable
9% Not sure

IMPORTANT Crosstabs and Statistics Related to These Questions

*Note that in the following results, those who answered “other” when asked for party affiliation are referred to as “independents” below. Respondents were given three options for party affiliation: “Republican,” “Democrat,” and “other.”

Climate Change, General

  • Less than half of independents (42%) say it’s “very likely” that “climate change will be catastrophic for humans, plants and animals,” compared to 24% for Republicans and 62% for Democrats.
  • Likely voters aged 18­–39 were the age demographic most likely (49%) to say “climate change will be catastrophic for humans, plants and animals,” compared to 39% for those aged 40–64 and 42% for those 65 and older.
  • More than half of likely voters (52%) said climate change is primarily being caused by “long-term planetary trends” or that they are “not sure” of the cause. Less than half (48%) said it’s being caused “primarily by human activity.”
  • One in three Democrats (33%) say climate change is primarily being caused by “long-term planetary trends” or that they are “not sure” of the cause.
  • 84% of those who said it’s “very likely” that “climate change will be catastrophic for humans, plants and animals” believe human activity is the primary cause of climate change, and 42% (a plurality) of those who said it is “somewhat likely” that climate change will be catastrophic also said climate change is primarily caused “by long-term planetary trends.”
  • Of those Democrats who said they believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 37% said federal or state governments should “require people to limit their air travel to help stop climate change.”
  • Of those Democrats who said they believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” one in four (27%) said federal or state governments should “require people to limit their consumption of meat to help stop climate change.”

 Climate Change and Supporters of Bernie Sanders

  • 80% of those who say they have a “very favorable” view of Bernie Sanders said it’s “very likely” that “climate change will be catastrophic for humans, plants and animals.”
  • 22% of those who say they have a “very favorable” view of Bernie Sanders said climate change is “primarily” caused by “planetary trends” or that they are “not sure” of the cause.
  • Of those who said they have a “very favorable” view of Bernie Sanders and believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 63% said federal or state governments should “punish with fines or jail time fossil-fuel business owners and/or executives.”
  • Of those who said they have a “very favorable” view of Bernie Sanders and believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 85% said federal or state governments should “require people to engage in activities that will lower carbon-dioxide emissions.”
  • Of those who said they have a “very favorable” view of Bernie Sanders and believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 47% said federal or state governments should “require people to limit their air travel to help stop climate change.”
  • Of those who said they have a “very favorable” view of Bernie Sanders and believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 36% said federal or state governments should “require people to limit their consumption of meat to help stop climate change.”

Climate Change and Supporters of Elizabeth Warren

  • 80% of those who say they have a “very favorable” view of Elizabeth Warren said it’s “very likely” that “climate change will be catastrophic for humans, plants and animals.”
  • 21% of those who say they have a “very favorable” view of Elizabeth Warren said climate change is “primarily” caused by “planetary trends” or that they are “not sure” of the cause.
  • Of those who said they have a “very favorable” view of Elizabeth Warren and believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 69% said federal or state governments should “punish with fines or jail time fossil-fuel business owners and/or executives.”
  • Of those who said they have a “very favorable” view of Elizabeth Warren and believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 83% said federal or state governments should “require people to engage in activities that will lower carbon-dioxide emissions.”
  • Of those who said they have a “very favorable” view of Elizabeth Warren and believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 39% said federal or state governments should “require people to limit their air travel to help stop climate change.”
  • Of those who said they have a “very favorable” view of Elizabeth Warren and believe climate change is “primarily” caused by “human activity,” 37% said federal or state governments should “require people to limit their consumption of meat to help stop climate change.”

 NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence, except questions 3-6, which have a margin of sampling error of +/-4.5%.

For questions about the survey or to book a policy expert to discuss the results of the survey, contact Heartland Editorial Director Justin Haskins at Jhaskins@heartland.org.

PHOTO: New York, NY – January 19, 2019: US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks during Women’s Unity Rally at Foley Square as hundreds of people attend – Image. Editorial credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com.

Stopping Socialism is a project of The Heartland Institute and The Henry Dearborn Institute for Liberty, a nonprofit association of free-market, pro-liberty professionals and scholars.