Americans overwhelmingly point to the environment and abortion as two policies areas Democrats “do a better job” than Republicans, according to newly-released polling data.
“More say the Democratic Party could do a better job than the GOP when it comes to dealing with the environment (59% to 28%), abortion and contraception (53% to 33%), health care (54% to 35%) and education policy (52% to 36%)” than Republicans, according to Pew Research Center data.
Pew reported Democrats were also “favored over the GOP on foreign policy (49% to 36%), immigration (50% to 39%) and government spending (48% to 40%),” but none of these policy areas had nearly as wide a margin as environmental issues, like global warming, and abortion.
The Democratic advantage on environmental issues grew from plus 23 percent in December 2015 to plus 31 percent in April 2017.
One reason for this perception could be that Republicans are seen as the party of business and less government, which voters see as incompatible with environmental protection or fighting global warming.
Other recent polls suggest Americans are becoming more worried about global warming and air quality with President Donald Trump in control of regulatory agencies.
A recent Gallup poll found that half of American adults are “concerned believers” of global warming, while the other 50 percent of Americans are in the “mixed middle” or ‘cool skeptics” category when it comes the issue.
“That contrasts with most years from 2001 through 2016, when Gallup found the majority qualifying as Mixed Middle or Cool Skeptics on the issue,” Gallup found.
The percentage of “believers” shot up from 37 percent in 2015 to 47 percent in 2016, which rose again in 2017 to 50 percent. Climate scientists declared 2014, 2015 and 2016 the warmest years on record.
In regards to air quality, American attitudes are interesting given the air has gotten much cleaner in the last 15 years, according to Environmental Protection Agency data. Though messaging from liberal groups has gotten much more dire on the issue.
The Trump administration has made a conscious effort to paint economic growth and environmental protection as going hand in hand. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has said in almost every public appearance there doesn’t have to be a trade-off between industry and environment.