A new series of polls (this time by bipartisan firm Public Opinion Strategies of key “swing states”) tells us once again something we already knew, but that can’t be repeated too often: clean energy is highly popular with the American people, and they want lots more of it!
New swing state polls released by the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Advanced Energy Economy Ohio Institute (AEE Ohio Institute) show that voters in Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, and Virginia—all of which helped decide the outcome of the election—support clean, secure, and affordable energy. Conducted the day after the election, these surveys demonstrate that American voters understand the benefits of clean energy despite the millions of dollars opponents poured into attacks on the industry.
The polls confirm that energy was an important issue for many voters’ decision for President—on par with foreign policy and more so than abortion. A majority of 2012 voters in these four swing states indicated that energy impacted their vote: 66% in Colorado, 60% in Virginia, 58% in Iowa, and 57% in Ohio.
These same voters want to see cleaner energy encouraged in their state: they ranked solar, wind, and natural gas higher than all other energy sources. And going forward, these swing state voters are significantly more supportive of candidates who advocate shifting to cleaner energy sources (Iowa: 80%, Colorado: 75%, Virginia: 72%, Ohio: 70%). Majorities in all four states support continued government investment in clean energy (Iowa: 77%, Virginia: 76%, Ohio: 75%, Colorado: 72%) and requirements for utilities to increase use of renewable energy (Iowa: 76%, Colorado: 70%, Virginia: 69%, Ohio: 67%).
“Policymakers take note: swing state voters support clean, renewable energy,” said Vice Admiral (ret.) Dennis McGinn, President and CEO of ACORE. “It is long past time to end the vilification of an industry that is creating jobs, attracting private investment, and contributing to our economic recovery. Clean energy is a business, not a political football, and it should be treated as a business.”
These results are proof positive that voters were not swayed by the millions of dollars clean energy opponents poured into attack ads in swing states. “The poll demonstrates that voters saw through opponents’ attacks on our industry; it is time that policymakers do, too,” added McGinn
In stark contrast to their overwhelming preference for clean energy, voters in these “swing states” are not at all enamored with fossil fuels. For instance, when asked which energy sources they wanted more of in their states, only 14% of voters in Iowa said “oil,” and only 24% of voters in Colorado said “coal.” That’s far, far less than the support expressed for wind and solar in these states. In addition, there are huge majorities, ranging from 44 to 57 points, in all four states, in favor of using more clean energy rather than more coal. What’s perhaps most astounding about these numbers is that they’re as strong as they are in spite of massive spending by the fossil fuel industries to promote their own industry and to tear down clean energy. Apparently, all that money they’re spending isn’t working, as Americans continue to strongly prefer a clean energy future for our country.