- A majority of young registered voters are open to voting for Republican candidates even as most say climate change is an important issue, polling from the American Conservation Coalition (ACC) showed.
- “That’s the really stunning thing about these numbers is how much of an opportunity there is from a conservative perspective,” ACC VP of Government Affairs Quill Robinson told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.
- In 2020, young adults aged 18-29 voted in favor of President Joe Biden by a whopping 24 points, according to Pew Research data.
A majority of young registered voters are open to voting for Republican candidates even as most say climate change is an important issue, polling from the American Conservation Coalition (ACC) showed.
Although young adults have voted overwhelmingly for Democrats in recent elections, 51% of young voters signaled that they would be at least somewhat likely to vote for a GOP candidate in upcoming cycles, according to the poll of young adults released Thursday and conducted by ACC in coordination with research firm Echelon Insights. The ACC, a conservative environmental group, has advocated for free market solutions to climate change and has supported Republican efforts to promote conservation and renewable energy.
“That’s the really stunning thing about these numbers is how much of an opportunity there is from a conservative perspective,” Quill Robinson, the ACC’s vice president of government affairs, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.
In 2020, young adults aged 18-29 voted in favor of President Joe Biden by a whopping 24 points, according to Pew Research data. Just 35% of voters in that age range cast a ballot for former President Donald Trump.
The polling Thursday showed 55% of young adults view climate change as a “very important” issue while another 24% see it as “somewhat important.” A whopping 81% of young adults also believe environmental protection and conservation are at least somewhat important.
But the GOP is viewed as weak on climate issues with just 39% of respondents agreeing that Republicans care about climate change. Robinson said conservatives need to work on messaging around climate to take advantage of the large portion of the electorate.
“I think it’s a matter of talking about an all-of-the-above energy approach, making sure that we have the resources that we need to build energy technologies and the manufacturing capability to do it here,” Robinson said. “Autonomy and being able to support ourselves as a country — obviously, in a lot of regards — but when it comes to energy, in particular, really hits home.”
He added that Republicans need to stay away from framing climate change as a non-issue.
“It starts with: climate change is real, it’s happening, it’s a serious problem,” he added. “Move on from that.”
Over the summer, Republican Rep. John Curtis founded the House Conservative Climate Caucus, the first-ever congressional caucus prioritizing climate change. The group acknowledges that the climate is changing and humans have contributed to it through decades of global industrialization.
Curtis and fellow Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse, the chairman of the House Western Caucus, have led the charge proposing conservative alternatives to climate policy. They have argued that Republicans need to take back the messaging on an issue that young adults see as so important.
“If we sit on the sidelines and are not willing to talk about it because we don’t like the Green New Deal, we won’t be successful,” Curtis previously told the DCNF. “We’ve got to get Republican members of Congress comfortable talking about it, educated in the real facts and in the real science.”
Still, more surveyed young adults ranked the economy, health care and crime as important than those who saw climate change as important, according to the ACC poll. In addition, 53% said the country is on the wrong track and more disapproved of Biden’s job performance thus far.
The poll surveyed 2,200 adults aged 18-30 and had a margin of error of 2.1%.
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