Poll: Scott Pruitt’s scandals threaten GOP candidates

Poll: Scott Pruitt’s scandals threaten GOP candidates
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images

Photo: Gage Skidmore

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s scandals could have a big impact on congressional elections this fall, according to a new national poll of likely voters, which finds 70 percent of respondents less likely to vote for a candidate who continues to support Pruitt, and nearly 60 percent saying President Trump should fire him.

“Americans have had enough of Scott Pruitt and his scandals. We’ve long known Pruitt’s agenda threatens our health and environment, but this poll shows his many ethical misdeeds and wasteful spending also threaten Republican candidates this fall,” said Kevin Curtis, executive director of the NRDC Action Fund. “Voters have lost faith in Scott Pruitt’s ability to enforce our nation’s most important environmental laws and protect our health, which is his only job. He should go.”

The survey also found:

  • Three out of four voters have heard at least something about Pruitt in the news recently and one in five voters say they have heard “a great deal.”
  • 58 percent of American voters say President Trump should fire Pruitt, including 34 percent of Republicans.
  • Just 33 percent of American voters approve of Pruitt’s job performance, with only 14 percent of Republicans expressing strong support.
  • A mere 11 percent of likely 2018 voters say they are “very confident” in Pruitt’s ability to ensure the EPA is protecting their health, including just 19 percent of Republicans.

The bad news for Pruitt nationally is echoed in a few key political battleground states. In Pennsylvania, 64% of likely voters say he should be fired, including 40% of Republicans. In Colorado, 57 percent of likely voters say he should be fired, including 28% of Republicans. In Ohio, 60% of likely voters say he should be fired, including 33% of Republicans.

The pollster’s memo on the survey is here.

Methodology: The NRDC Action Fund, a national 501 (c)(4) environmental group, commissioned the poll. Benenson Strategy Group conducted interviews for this survey among 800 likely 2018 voters nationally, plus oversamples of 300 likely voters each in Colorado, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Interviews were conducted from April 20 to 24 by telephone and online. The telephone interviews reached voters on landlines and cell phones. All data was combined and weighted to be fully representative of the likely voter universe nationally and in each state oversample. The overall margin of error for the national sample of 800 likely voters is ±2.5% at the 95% confidence level; it is higher among subgroups.

Important note to reporters/editors: The NRDC Action Fund is an affiliated but separate organization from the Natural Resources Defense Council. News and information released by the NRDC Action Fund needs to be identified as from the “NRDC Action Fund.” The “Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund” is incorrect. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the NRDC Action Fund cannot be used interchangeably.  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.