This is pretty striking: The first three political groups—Democrats, independents, and non-tea party Republicans—all trust scientists on the environment. But then you come to tea party members, and suddenly, distrust in scientists soars. The numbers are stark: 60 percent of traditional Republicans trust scientists on the environment, versus only 28 percent of tea partiers.Which just goes to show how self-defeating the many Republican candidates for office who choose to feed into this climate change denialism are: they aren't just choosing the extreme position that brings them at odds with the general American public, but they are even out of the mainstream of their own Party.
Although the poll only covers New Hampshire, these trends likely persist throughout most of America. More polling should be done, but this indicates that climate change could be a very effective wedge issue heading towards November. For all those Republican candidates feeding into the climate change denialists to get through the Primaries, will they be able to effectively mitigate the damage of these statements in time for November, to bring them back in line with the rest of America?
Democrats should pay very close attention.
Chris Mooney, by the way, has been documenting the Republican War on Science for several years now.