You wouldn’t guess it from watching the recent Republican presidential debates, but American voters support the EPA and its mission to save lives by reducing pollution. New polling, partially commissioned by NRDC, shows that, “Nearly four out of five Americans (78 percent) want the EPA to hold corporate polluters accountable for what they release into the community.”
It should come as no surprise that women and Latinos feel even more strongly about maintaining sensible safeguards for public health. After all, moms are often the ones who have to take off work when their kids need treatment for an asthma attack. And, Hispanic children are 60% more likely to have asthma than their non-Hispanic White counterparts. Political strategists understand that these voters will be the key to winning swing states and they overwhelmingly support efforts to cut pollution and improve health.
Even the incumbent president should take heed. These voters are not frustrated only by Republican candidates who deny science and pledge to abolish, dismantle or lock the doors to the EPA. Nationwide, 70 percent of Americans disapproved of President Obama’s decision to block smog standards that would have avoided approximately 8,000 premature deaths, and prevented 3,800 nonfatal heart attacks and 40,000 asthma attacks every year.
It’s time for politicians on both sides of the aisle to realize that pandering to corporate polluters may bring in campaign cash but it won’t sway the voters who actually decide elections.