Undecided Voters

PPP SURVEY: UNDECIDED PRESIDENTIAL VOTERS IN 8 BATTLEGROUND STATES FAVOR CLEAN AIR STANDARDS, CLEAN ENERGY POLICIES

Major opening for Democrats and key weakness for Republican agenda seen in Presidential swing states and Senate races of FL, MI, NV, NM, OH, PA, VA and WI; Results suggest massive ad campaign against clean air, energy protections is not working.

To listen to the audio version of the press briefing from September 28, 2012, click here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 27, 2012 – Undecided voters in eight swing states — Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin — decisively favor candidates for president and Congress who support clean air and clean energy policies over candidates who don’t, according to eight new state-specific surveys.

Conducted for the NRDC Action Fund, the Public Policy Polling (PPP) polls of 22,412 likely voters find, in the aggregate, that key-state undecided voters side with President Barack Obama’s position as “a candidate who supports EPA standards for reducingdangerous carbon pollution” over the views of Republican challenger Mitt Romney who “says that these limits would be bad for business and EPA should not limit carbon pollution” by a roughly 2-1 margin (54 percent versus 27 percent). Among all likely voters in the eight states, the margin on the same question is still wide, at 57 percent to 32 percent.

The poll also finds that undecided voters in the eight states, which also have contested Senate races, favor congressional candidates and who support “standards to reduce toxic mercury pollution from power plants” over those who oppose them (59 percent versus 23 percent.) Among all likely voters in the eight states, the margin on the same question is 58 percent to 30 percent.

According to the polling, 50 percent of likely voters in the eight battleground states would vote today for Barack Obama, 44 percent for Mitt Romney, with 6 percent undecided. Undecided voters pressed to make a choice broke out 20 percent for Barack Obama, 32 percent for Mitt Romney and 49 percent still unable to decide.

Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, said: “Mitt Romney is running behind in battleground states and he’ll need to win over most of the remaining undecided voters to win. But his stances on environment and energy issues could hurt his ability to do that. What we see here is that key-state voters who are still making up their minds decisively favor candidates who support standards to reduce carbon pollution and mercury pollution. Romney’s views are at odds with the very centrist voters he needs. And, clearly the shared views of Obama and democratic Senate candidates in Congress can only help them with these undecided voters.”

Similar support among likely voters in battleground states for clean air and clean energy is seen across the board on such issues as increasing federal fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, reducing toxic mercury pollution, and boosting incentives for wind and solar energy.

NRDC Action Fund director Heather Taylor-Miesle said: “Even though polluters and their allies are spending tens of millions of dollars attacking clean air and clean energy, they haven’t been able to change a simple fact: most Americans want clean air and energy and want polluters held accountable for the pollution they dump in our communities. So the reality on the ground in these crucial swing states is that likely voters are not buying what the polluters are selling. Even more importantly, the people who will decide this election – the undecided – are not in the market for it either.”

The eight PPP battleground state surveys were conducted in Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin between Sept.14-20, 2012 among a combined 22,412 likely voters (with a margin of error of +/0.7 percent), including an oversample of 2,158 undecided voters (with a margin of error of +/-2.1 percent).

Among the key findings regarding the presidential candidates’ positions:

Mercury pollution from power plants:

  • By a margin of 60 percent to 20 percent, undecided voters support a presidential candidate who backs reducing toxic mercury pollution from power plants. Among likely voters, the margin is 59 percent to 28 percent in support of such a presidential candidate.

Fuel efficiency standards:

  • By a margin of 60 percent to 25 percent, undecided voters support a presidential candidate who favors higher fuel efficiency standards for vehicles. Among likely voters, the margin is 58 percent to 31 percent in support of such a presidential candidate.

Clean energy investments:

  • By a margin of 52 percent to 29 percent, undecided voters support a presidential candidate who backs increased incentives for wind power. Among likely voters, the margin is 56 percent to 35 percent in support of such a presidential candidate.

The eight battleground states also feature key Senate races with candidates split on energy and environment issues. Among the polls’ key findings regarding positions held by candidates for Congress:

Carbon pollution from power plants:

  • By a margin of 55 percent to 27 percent, undecided voters support congressional candidates who back reducing carbon pollution from power plants. Among likely voters, the margin is 57 percent to 33 percent in support of such Congressional candidates.

Clean energy investments:

  • By a margin of 53 percent to 31 percent, undecided voters support congressional candidates who back increased incentives for wind power. Among likely voters, the margin is 57 percent to 34 percent in support of such Congressional candidates.

The survey also tested voter views on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) role and on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”  

US EPA Role

  • By a margin of 72 percent to 14 percent, undecided voters agree that the EPA should protect “the air we breathe and water we drink” with “safeguards that hold corporate polluters accountable.” Among likely voters, the margin is 74 percent to 18 percent in favor of EPA’s role.

Fracking

  • By a margin of 68 percent to 17 percent, undecided voters support disclosure of chemicals used in fracking. Among likely voters the margin is 69 percent to 21 percent in favor of disclosure.

Full and state-specific survey findings are online at www.nrdcactionfund.org/undecidedvoters.

CONTACT:  Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265, or aawolf@hastingsgroup.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  A streaming audio replay of the telephone press conference announcing these results will be available as of 5 p.m. EDT on September 27, 2012 at www.nrdcactionfund.org/undecidedvoters.

The NRDC Action Fund’s mission is to achieve the passage of legislation that jump-starts the clean energy economy, reduces pollution, and sustains vibrant communities for all Americans. Now is the time for leadership and action from our elected officials — our current goal is a comprehensive clean energy policy that will repower our economy and fuel our future. http://www.nrdcactionfund.org.

The NRDC Action Fund is an affiliated but separate organization from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). As a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, the NRDC Action Fund engages in various advocacy and political activities for which the Natural Resources Defense Council, a 501(c)(3) organization, faces certain legal limitations or restrictions. News and information released by the NRDC Action Fund therefore needs to be identified as from the NRDC Action Fund. Use of the label “Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund” is incorrect; the only correct title is the “NRDC Action Fund.” In other words, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the NRDC Action Fund cannot be used interchangeably. Also, please note that the word “National” does not appear in Natural Resources Defense Council.


Polling Results


Florida

Press Release and Results for Likely and Undecided Voters


Michigan

Press Release and Results for Likely and Undecided Voters


Nevada

Press Release and Results for Likely and Undecided Voters


New Mexico

Press Release and Results for Likely and Undecided Voters


Ohio

Press Release and Results for Likely and Undecided Voters


Pennsylvania

Press Release and Results for Likely and Undecided Voters


Virginia

Press Release and Results for Likely and Undecided Voters


Wisconsin

Press Release and Results for Likely and Undecided Voters