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American Voters Support Climate Candidates in 2022 Midterms

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A large majority of US voters plan to cast their ballots in the midterm elections, according to the latest research from ecoAmerica. And, three-quarters report being likely to vote for candidates who support climate change solutions. What’s behind that motivation? In their own words, they cite children and future generations as top motivators to vote with climate change in mind.

Read the full report to find out specific demographic breakdowns of voters who back climate candidates and what motivates them to bring climate change to the polls.

High Majorities Plan to Cast Their Vote This Midterm

Nationally, 85% of registered voters report that they plan to vote this election season. A closer look at results by political affiliation shows that 93% of Democrats, 89% of Republicans, and 78% of Independents plan to vote. The percentage of voters saying they will head to the polls this season increases with age — 77% of young voters between 18-29, 79% of voters 30-44, 87% of voters 45-69, and 96% of voters >60 plan to vote. Nearly 9 in 10 males also say they plan to vote (88%), 5 points higher than females (83%).

Candidates Who Support Climate Solutions Are Favored Among Democrats, Independents, and Nearly Half of Republicans

ecoAmerica’s research finds that the majority of registered voters in the US support candidates who back climate change solutions. When asked how likely they would be to vote for a candidate who supports climate change solutions, 73% said they would be “much” or “somewhat” more likely to vote for them. A higher majority of Democrats (94%) would vote for a candidate who supports climate solutions than Republicans and Independents, however, nearly half of Republicans say they would, too (46%). Just about three-quarters of Independents agree (72%).

Concerned Voters Back Climate Candidates

Beyond political party, feeling concerned about climate change may influence which candidates Americans support. Over 9 in 10 voters who say they are either “very” or “somewhat” concerned about climate change also say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports climate solutions. 

Climate Voters Most Motivated by the Future and Children

ecoAmerica asked voters what motivates them to vote with climate change in mind.* In their own words they frequently cited the “future,” “future generations”, “children,” and “grandchildren.” Full responses included, “I can’t imagine leaving this Earth in such a destructive state for my children and their kids to handle”, and “My children’s and other children’s lives and future depends on it.” Other voters spoke more generally about the future. One respondent said, “I want a future where the earth isn’t dying.” Another respondent answered, “If we don’t get the people that can affect change in a position to do so we will never do what is required for survival in the future.”

*Voters who answered “much more likely” and “somewhat more likely” to “How likely would you be to vote for a candidate who supports climate change solutions?” were then asked “In your own words, what motivates you to vote with climate change in mind?”

Full data featured in this blog is available in the accompanying toplines.

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The US Capital building with gray skies behind in. On the image is text that says "Nearly half of Republicans are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports climate change solutions"

 

Methodology

ecoAmerica designed and administered this survey, which was conducted online on September 7-8, 2022 using Survey Monkey. The survey yielded a total of 1,022 complete adult responses and used the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to weigh the national general population and reflect the demographic composition of the US. The sample was drawn from an online panel and the respondents were screened to ensure that they were over the age of 18. The margin of error for the sample is +/-3%. In interpreting the survey results, it is important to note that all sample surveys are subject to possible sampling error. Thus, the results of a survey may differ from the results that would be obtained if the entire population was interviewed. The size of the sampling error depends upon both the total number of respondents in the survey and the percentage distribution of the responses to a particular question. For example, if 50% of the respondents in a sample of 1,066 respondents answered, “Yes” to a particular question, we can be 95% confident that the true percentage would fall within 3 points, or range from 47% to 53%.

The word cloud was generated by SurveyMonkey. The word cloud displays words that appeared in responses at least eight times. 

Suggested Citation

Speiser, M., Hill, A. N. (September, 2022). American Climate Perspectives Survey 2022. Vol IV. American Voters Support Climate Candidates. ecoAmerica. Washington, DC.

© 2022 ecoAmerica. The contents of this report may be shared and used under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

For more information contact us at research@ecoAmerica.org.
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