By Abel Gustafson, Seth Rosenthal, Anthony Leiserowitz, Edward Maibach, John Kotcher, Matthew Ballew and Matthew Goldberg
Some members of Congress are proposing a “Green New Deal” for the U.S. They say that a Green New Deal will produce jobs and strengthen America’s economy by accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. The Deal would generate 100% of the nation’s electricity from clean, renewable sources within the next 10 years; upgrade the nation’s energy grid, buildings, and transportation infrastructure; increase energy efficiency; invest in green technology research and development; and provide training for jobs in the new green economy.
While the Green New Deal has been a fixture of the post-election news cycle, and at least 40 members of Congress (to date) have endorsed the idea, little is known about the American public’s support for or opposition to it. To inform this question, we surveyed a nationally-representative sample of registered voters in the United States.
The survey results show overwhelming support for the Green New Deal, with 81% of registered voters saying they either “strongly support” (40%) or “somewhat support” (41%) this plan.
As expected, support is strongest among Democrats (92%). But a large majority of Republicans (64%) – including conservative Republicans (57%) – also support the policy goals in our description of the Green New Deal.
Notably, although our description of the Deal accurately provided details about the proposal, it did not mention that the Green New Deal is championed by Democratic members of Congress such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and John Lewis (D-GA). Other research has shown that people evaluate policies more negatively when they are told it is backed by politicians from an opposing political party. Conversely, people evaluate the same policy more positively when told it is backed by politicians from their own party.
Therefore, these findings may indicate that although most Republicans and conservatives are in favor of the Green New Deal’s policies in principle, they are not yet aware that this plan is proposed by the political Left. For any survey respondents who were previously unaware of the Deal, it is likely that their reactions have not yet been influenced by partisan loyalty.