BATTLEGROUND POLL: Environment, Health and Clean Water Issues Sway 2020 House Races

LCV Victory Fund, NRDC Action Votes, EDF Action, and House Majority PAC sponsored the poll

 A new poll of 37 battleground House districts conducted by Global Strategy Group (GSG) finds that support for and messaging on pro-environment policies can swing competitive House races.

The poll found that voters would be much more likely to back candidates who support pro-environment policies, especially forcing polluters to clean up cancer-causing toxic chemicals in our drinking water. Voters oppose candidates who deny the reality of climate change and want to cut the EPA budget while giving oil companies tax breaks.

“The results of this survey were clear and striking,” said Andrew Baumann, senior vice president at GSG. “Environmental messaging -- both critiques of anti-environmental politicians and positive messaging in support of environmental champions -- can really move voters, particularly the critical voters in the middle of the electorate.”

LCV Victory Fund, NRDC Action Votes, EDF Action and House Majority PAC sponsored the survey of more than 1,200 likely voters with an oversample of an additional 800 middle partisan voters, for a total of over 2,000 interviews between May 29 and June 8. On average, Trump won the districts surveyed by one point in 2016, and Democrats carried them by five points in 2018. A summary memo can be found here.

Lawmakers who deny the reality of climate change are overwhelmingly unpopular -- by a 67 to 20 margin. Scientists and public health experts are viewed most favorably. The poll also found that voters have a favorable opinion of climate experts and clean energy policy. Importantly, the poll showed that environmental-based messaging moves voters in support of incumbent Democrats by a significant margin, particularly with independents and in critical suburban districts.

“President Trump’s anti-environment friends in and running for Congress are putting the health and well-being of our communities, especially the communities of color suffering the most from toxic pollution and the coronavirus, at extreme risk,” said Pete Maysmith, senior vice president of campaigns for LCV Victory Fund. “Numbers don’t lie. House candidates in every corner of the country have an opportunity to put the U.S. on a path to a healthier future by talking about their support for pro-environment policies, especially when it comes to cleaning up our polluted water and air, on the campaign trail.”

“Even as folks struggle to cope with COVID-19, voters care about protecting the air they breathe and the water they drink while safeguarding public health,” said Joe Bonfiglio, president of EDF Action. “This survey is yet another indication that environmental issues are more important to voters than ever before. Candidates who embrace these pro-environmental policies are in-line with their constituents, and are in a strong position to win.”

“Voters everywhere support clean water, clean air and clean energy. This poll demonstrates that protecting our environment is not only good for all of us, it’s a political winner,” said Jossie Steinberg, the director of NRDC Action Votes. “Candidates who fight back against the Trump administration’s efforts to gut protections for our air and water are going to prevail in this year’s election.”

“Voters in battleground districts have made it clear that they support a majority in the House that prioritizes access to healthcare and clean air and water,” said Abby Curran Horrell, executive director of House Majority PAC. “We will continue to make sure voters know where Republicans stand on these issues as part of our work to protect and expand the Democratic house majority.”

The districts sampled included AZ-01, CA-10, CA-21, CA-39, CA-45, CA-48, CO-06, FL-26, FL-27, GA-06, IA-01, IA-03, IL-14, KS-03, ME-02, MI-08, MI-11, MN-02, NH-01, NJ-03, NJ-07, NJ-11, NM-02, NV-03, NY-11, NY-19, NY-22, OK-05, PA-07, PA-08, SC-01, TX-07, TX-32, UT-04, VA-02, VA-07, and WA-08.