Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Climate Change Means Trouble for the GOP

I have previously posited about why the GOP is so anti-climate change. I have said before that I think part of the problem is that Republicans hate Obama and Gore so much they reject any evidence of global warming rather than agree with those two men on anything. I still think this is true, but I believe it goes much further than that and I am at a loss to understand why the GOP has become the party of science rejection. This is born out by some recent polls.

Take this survey by the Public Policy Polling. Yes, the Public Policy Polling is liberal, but that doesn't mean the results are any less valid. What they found was that independent voters don't support candidates that reject climate change. In fact, they found that only 29% of independent voters would be willing to support a candidate that is a climate skeptic (count this blogger in that group of independents). Independents support a 30% reduction standard by a margin of 59% in favor versus 29% opposed. When asked who they trust more on the subject of climate change, Senator Mark Rubio (a denier) or climate scientists, independent voters picked the scientists 57% to 27%.

Clearly, independent voters believe in global warming and support measures to counter climate change. And, it is the independents that determine the elections.

Unfortunately, independents don't get to vote in primaries (I have never voted in a primary due to the fact that I have never belonged to any political party).  That means candidates are selected by the party faithful. For the Democrats, that means candidates are selected by a bunch of socialist progressive liberals that have rejected any kind of logic. For the GOP, that means candidates are selected by a bunch of fundamental Christian conservatives that have rejected science. It makes for a pretty poor set of choices for all of us in the middle.

The Pew Research Center in a survey released last fall found similar results. The bad news for Republicans is that it found even a majority of Republicans believe the climate is getting warmer (61% of non-Tea Party respondents). The good news for Republicans is that acting on climate change was ranked 29th out of 30 on the priority list.

So, things are not going the deniers way, but the GOP is still ignoring the facts. In a recent study, only about 3% of Republicans in Congress acknowledged there is a problem with climate change.

This has produced a certain crisis for the GOP. Their candidates are selected by people that reject science, but the election is decided by non-GOP voters. Clearly, the GOP is counting on voter dissatisfaction with ObamaCare to carry them to victory in November. But, as the primary loss of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor showed - Don't take the voters for granted.

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