Sandy left behind a green majority in the United States

November 14, 2012

New National Wildlife Federation/Zogby
Nationwide Post Election Poll

New Poll: Sandy Fuels Widespread Concern on Climate Change
Post-Election Poll Shows GOP Faces
Growing Environmental Divide with Voters

Washington, DC (November 14, 2012) – Superstorm Sandy is fueling concerns about climate change and how it’s inflating the costs and risks of extreme weather, according to a new post-election poll from Zogby Analytics. The poll shows key voting groups in the 2012 election – Hispanics, women, young voters – are among those most concerned with confronting climate change now and protecting America’s air, water, wildlife and other natural resources.

“These results show the dramatic impact 2012’s extreme weather has had across party lines, with half of Republicans, 73 percent of independents and 82 percent of Democrats saying they’re worried about the growing cost and risks of extreme weather disasters fueled by climate change,” said Pollster John Zogby. “It’s a major change from our December 2009 poll, which showed two-thirds of Republicans and nearly half of political independents saying they were ‘not at all concerned’ about global climate change and global warming. The political climate has shifted and members of Congress need to catch up with their constituents.”

Among the poll’s findings:

  • Two-thirds of voters (65 percent) say elected officials should take steps now to reduce the impact of climate change on future generations, while just 27 percent say we should wait for more evidence.
  • A strong majority (57 percent) says climate change is adding to the severity of recent extreme weather such as Superstorm Sandy and the summer droughts. Concern is even deeper among key demographics, with 75 percent of Hispanics, 67 percent of African Americans, 65 percent of women, and 65 percent of voters 25-34 agreeing that climate change is fueling America’s extreme weather.
  • Seven in ten voters (69 percent) are greatly or somewhat worried about the growing cost and risks of extreme weather disasters fueled by climate change. Six in ten (58 percent) of Tea Party sympathizers are greatly or somewhat worried, showing a connection between climate action and fiscal responsibility.
  • Three times as many voters say the government is doing too little to protect America’s air, water, wildlife and other natural resources (44 percent) as say it’s doing too much (14 percent).
  • Asked to pick the highest priority to help solve America’s energy challenges, twice as many voters select renewable energy like wind and solar power (38 percent) than any other choice. Independents favor wind and solar over fossil fuels by a 4-to-1 margin – 48 percent pick renewable energy while just 12 percent select the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and only 11 percent prioritize more oil and gas drilling on America’s public lands.
  • Two thirds of voters (67 percent) say they’re very or somewhat concerned that political donations by oil, gas and coal industries are influencing politicians in Washington to approve policies that benefit their corporations. The oil and gas industry alone made $59 million in political contributions in the 2012 election cycle and has spent another $104 million on lobbying so far in 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
  • When asked which political party they trust more to protect America’s air, water, wildlife and other natural resources, twice as many voters choose Democrats (44 percent) than pick Republicans (24 percent). But independents are up for grabs, with 54 percent answering neither/not sure.
For content, contact:
Miles Grant, National Wildlife Federation,

For methodology, contact: Chad Bohnert,
Zogby Analytics,

Full Data

Zogby Post Election Poll Methodology
U.S. Nationwide 2012 Post Election Voters Poll
Zogby Analytics conducted an online poll of 1,016 actual voters in the US for the National Wildlife Federation.

Using trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.

Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion.

Based on a confidence interval of 95 percent, the margin of error for 1,016 is +/- 3.1 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.

Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.

Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.

About Zogby Analytics:
For three decades, the Zogby companies have produced polls with an unparalleled record of accuracy and reliability. Zogby telephone and interactive surveys have generally been the most accurate in U.S. Presidential elections since 1996.

Zogby Analytics is composed entirely of senior level executives from Zogby International. Zogby Analytics, along with renowned pollster John Zogby, have continued in the tradition of conducting telephone and interactive surveys, while keeping an eye on the future by incorporating social media tracking and analysis into our work.

Zogby Analytics conducts a wide variety of surveys internationally and nationally in industries, including banking, IT, medical devices, government agencies, colleges and universities, non-profits, automotive, insurance and NGOs.

About National Wildlife Federation:
The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future.

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