NRDC Action Fund: PPP survey — Undecided presidential voters in Wisconsin favor clean air standards, clean energy policies

Poll shows key weakness for Republican agenda, strength for Democrats including Wisconsin Senate race; Results suggest massive ad campaign against clean air, energy protections in Wisconsin is not working

WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 27, 2012 – Undecided voters in Wisconsin decisively favor candidates for president and Congress who support clean air and clean energy policies over candidates who don’t, a new poll shows.

The Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey conducted for the NRDC Action Fund of likely voters in Wisconsin finds undecided voters side with President Barack Obama’s position as a candidate who “supports EPA standards to reduce dangerous carbon pollution” over the position of Republican challenger Mitt Romney, presented as a candidate who “says that these limits would be bad for business and EPA should not limit carbon pollution,” by a wide margin (57 percent versus 27 percent). Among all likely voters in Wisconsin, the margin on the same question is still wide, at 59 percent to 29 percent.

The survey also finds that undecided voters favor congressional candidates who, like Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, support “standards to reduce toxic mercury pollution from power plants” over those who oppose them (61 percent versus 21 percent.) Among all likely voters in Wisconsin, the margin on the same question is 61 percent to 27 percent.

Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, said: “Mitt Romney is running behind in Wisconsin and he’ll need to win over most of the remaining undecided voters to win this critical state. But his stances on environment and energy issues could hurt his ability to do that – Wisconsin 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 Obama’s and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin’s shared views on clean air and energy can only help them with these undecided voters.”

Similar support among Wisconsin voters for clean air and clean energy are seen across the board on such issues as curbing tax breaks for oil & gas companies, increasing federal fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, reducing toxic mercury pollution, and boosting incentives for wind and solar energy according to the NRDC Action Fund survey.

NRDC Action Fund director Heather Taylor-Miesle said: “No wonder dirty energy companies and polluters need to spend tens of millions of dollars on advertising in an attempt to snooker voters into going along with their agenda. The reality on the ground in Wisconsin 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.

Taylor-Miesle added: “These results clearly show that undecided and likely Wisconsin voters strongly prefer the positions that Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin has taken when it comes to protecting our health from air pollution and fracking, and investing in clean energy.”

The PPP survey in Wisconsin was conducted Sept.17-19, 2012 among 2,825 likely voters (with a margin of error of ±1.8 percent), including an oversample of 262 undecided voters (with a margin of error of ±6.0 percent). The survey found 51 percent of Wisconsin voters favoring Obama, 45 percent favoring Mitt Romney and 4 percent undecided.

Among the key findings regarding the Presidential candidates’ positions:

Mercury pollution from power plants:

* By a margin of 66 percent to 17 percent, undecided voters support a presidential candidate who backs reducing toxic mercury pollution from power plants. Among likely voters, the margin is 63 percent to 24 percent in support of such a presidential candidate.

Fuel efficiency standards:

* By a margin of 62 percent to 20 percent, undecided voters support a presidential candidate who favors higher fuel efficiency standards for vehicles. Among likely voters, the margin is 63 percent to 28 percent in support of such a presidential candidate.

Clean energy investments:

* By a margin of 51 percent to 29 percent, undecided voters support a presidential candidate who backs increased incentives for wind power. Among likely voters, the margin is 58 percent to 34 percent in support of such a presidential candidate.

Among the key findings regarding positions held by candidates for Congress:

Carbon pollution from power plants:

* By a margin of 58 percent to 25 percent, undecided voters support Congressional candidates who back reducing dangerous carbon pollution from power plants. Among likely voters, the margin is 59 percent to 29 percent in support of such Congressional candidates.

Clean energy investments:

* By a margin of 55 percent to 30 percent, undecided voters support Congressional candidates who back increased incentives for wind power. Among likely voters, the margin is 59 percent to 32 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 69 percent to 13 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 62 percent to 26 percent in favor of EPA’s role.

Fracking

* By a margin of 66 percent to 14 percent, undecided voters support disclosure of chemicals used in fracking. Among likely voters the margin is 70 percent to 18 percent in favor of disclosure.

Full survey findings and detailed methodology are online at http://www.nrdcactionfund.org/undecidedvoters.

CONTACT: Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265, or [email protected].

EDITOR’S NOTE: A streaming audio replay of this news event will be available as of 4 p.m. CDT on September 27, 2012 at http://www.NRDCActionFund.org.

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.

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