Progressive Democrats are pushing for the “Green New Deal” to be a central issue in the 2020 campaign. It is aggressively supported by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has signaled her support.
However, just 23% of voters are following news of the Green New Deal even somewhat closely. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 39% have never heard of it and another 39% are not following news on the topic.
The “Green New Deal” envisions the federal government spending trillions of dollars over the next decade on a massive program of investments in clean-energy jobs and infrastructure, meant to transform not just the energy sector, but the entire economy. When phrased in such general terms, 55% of voters have at least a somewhat favorable opinion of the concept. That includes 24% with a Very Favorable opinion.
Fifty-five percent (55%) also agree that “Humanity has just over a decade to get carbon emissions under control before catastrophic climate change before climate change impacts become unavoidable.”A similar number (52%) favor eliminating the use of coal as an energy source and closing all coal mines within a decade.
However, key policies associated with a Green New Deal are distinctly unpopular. These political realities may be the reason that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other establishment Democrats have been more cautious in their embrace of the Green New Deal. For example, just 36% are even somewhat inclined to support a plan that would significantly raise taxes on the use of natural gas and oil. Only 12% Strongly Favor such a policy.
Only 30% of voters nationwide are at all comfortable with the idea of letting the federal government transform the entire economy. On this point, there is a huge generation gap. By a narrow 45% to 40% margin, voters under 35 are comfortable with such a federal transformation. But 70% of voters over 50 are uncomfortable giving such sweeping power to the government. Voters with higher incomes and a college degree are more comfortable with it than others (see crosstab results).
As part of the government-led transformation, the Green New Deal also envisions a national health care plan such as that proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders and others. While voters strongly support the notion of ensuring access to health care for all, only 19% support the Sanders’ plan to eliminate private insurance companies. Generally speaking, voters want more health care choices rather than fewer. Most dislike the notion of requiring every American to get their medical care from the federal government.
Finally, voters at the moment appear resistant to the costs associated with the Green New Deal. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of all voters are willing to pay no more than $100 a year in higher costs and taxes to fight climate change and global warming. That includes 40% who are unwilling to pay anything for that purpose.
Given how little known the Green New Deal is today, public perceptions of the plan could shift dramatically over the coming months and years. It is also quite likely that there could be a continuing split between support for the stated goals of the program and opposition to the actual policies involved.
ScottRasmussen.com will release additional data on climate change and the Green New Deal in the coming days. We release new public opinion data every day relating to topics in the news and other items of interest. Please sign up to receive the latest data and insights each day via email.
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The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted January 3-4, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).