As CNN holds a candidate forum on climate change this evening, we are pleased to release the results of a new national survey finding that registered voters in the United States have deep concerns about climate change and want the government to take action. Voters support policies to reduce carbon pollution and protect Americans from climate impacts. The poll comes as events across the month of September will elevate climate change in the national conversation, including two televised Democratic presidential candidate climate forums, a third Democratic presidential primary debate, and the United Nations climate summit in New York.
Democratic voters say climate change is a top-tier issue in determining their vote for president in 2020. When asked to state the two most important issues to their presidential vote, Democrats identify health care as the most important issue (40%), followed by climate change (28%) and gun policy (24%). Seventeen percent of registered voters overall select climate change as one of the two most important issues that will determine their vote.
Voters overall are more likely to back candidates who support specific policies to address climate change. Nearly three-quarters of registered voters (74%) say they are more likely to support candidates who favor setting stronger pollution limits for business and industry, and seven in 10 say they are more likely to support candidates who favor setting stronger fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks (70%), requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a tax on their carbon pollution (70%), and providing assistance to communities losing jobs in the oil, gas, and coal industries (70%). More than six in 10 (62%) voters also say they are more likely to support candidates who favor ensuring protection of low-income and minority communities that are more vulnerable to climate change impacts.
Nearly seven in 10 (69%) voters are worried about climate change, including more than a third (35%) who are very worried. Voters say climate change is impacting U.S. agriculture (73%), extreme weather events in the U.S. (72%), the health of Americans (61%), the U.S. economy (59%), and their own family’s health (50%).