Clean Energy Can Swing Voters

Energy Reform crosses political boundaries, uniting a broad swath of voters in swing states.

Two recent events have highlighted the broadening of the energy base:

  • Hart Research poll for NextGen Climate that asked voters their opinion on energy policy in 8 swing states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Wisconsin and Ohio.  
  • YC4ER, Young Conservatives for Energy Reform, host an event in Cincinnati, Ohio before the first Republican presidential debate.

NextGen Climate Poll

The Poll showed a strong support for the goal of 50% clean energy by 2030 and the inclusion of a longer-term goal of 100% clean energy by 2050 amongst Republicans, Independents and Democrats.  

The Hart report concluded that clean energy has the potential to be an important and persuasive issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. Hart Associates found that voters are overwhelmingly positive toward a candidate who sets a goal of achieving at least 50% clean energy by 2030. Six in 10 (61%) voters say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate for president if they adopted this goal while only 14% say they would be less likely. This could be a mobilizing issue for independents, 62% of whom say they would be more likely to vote for this candidate (compared to just 13% who would be less likely), as well as voters who remain undecided about the 2016 election (46% more likely to vote for a clean energy candidate, 15% less likely). Amongst millennials, a group that the pollsters find are hard to get motivated, 80% found clean energy an inspiring goal, as did 66% of the general electorate polled.  

YC4ER

The poll comes as Young Conservatives for Energy Reform and the Christian Coalition will host a reception on August 6 at the Hard Rock Cafe in Cleveland, Ohio prior to the first Republican debate. The group believes energy has been a source of partisan bickering for too long which has  weakened the US position as a leader in the energy revolution that is here. They see America’s over-dependence on foreign sources of energy as a drag on the US struggling economy and a threat to national security. They also believe that focusing on a national energy policy and the growth of clean energy means spending more money at home, thus creating jobs and boosting the economy. As they say on their website: 

Broadening the base of support for a new energy policy is essential. Conservative and moderate voices must be invited to speak up and help guide a more informed energy dialog, which will produce common sense solutions everyone can agree on.  We will build an energy platform that speaks to the values of independence, security, prosperity, family, and stewardship.

Policies that Unite Us

In a time when many policies divide us, such as health care and immigration, the ability of energy policy to cross partisan boundaries is hopeful. As the Hart Associates poll showed, the issues that include:

  • Protecting health, especially of children and seniors,
  • Ensuring a future for our children and grandchildren, 
  • Innovation that can lead to jobs of the future along with training for such jobs, and
  • Improving the efficiency of cars, trucks, appliances and buildings.

These aren't just laudable goals, but the kind of bread and butter issues that drive elections in surprising directions.