From sea to shining sea: new survey reveals state-level opinions on climate change

October 26, 2020

North and South, rural and urban--the United States is a complex mix of cultures, mindsets, and life experiences. And, as a new report by researchers at Stanford University, Resources for the Future, and ReconMR illustrates, those state-by-state differences affect climate attitudes and opinions.

The report is the latest installment of Climate Insights 2020, a seven-part series that reveals American beliefs, attitudes, and opinions on climate change and mitigation policies. The latest installment combines data from 27,661 respondents into a single dataset, then separates those data by state. Through this unique formulation, the report reveals state and regional opinions on climate change and their potential impacts on voting just days ahead of the presidential election.

As well as assessing where each state stands on a variety of climate-related issues, the report explains variation between states using indicators ranging from state-level politics to typical temperatures to residential energy prices.

Top Findings"These data provide strong signals to many policymakers about how their constituents would like them to vote on legislation related to global warming," report coauthor Jon Krosnick said. "With just over a week until the presidential election, these findings document the likely role that climate will play in voting decisions from coast to coast."

To learn more about these findings, read Climate Insights 2020: Opinion in the States by Jared McDonald, postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University; Bo MacInnis, lecturer at Stanford University and PhD economist; and Jon Krosnick, social psychologist, professor at Stanford University, and RFF university fellow. The Climate Insights 2020interactive data tool also allows users to explore the data in greater depth.

The final report installment in this series will be a synthesis of the six installments. Previous ones have focused on overall trends, natural disasters, climate policies, partisan breakdowns of those policies, and electric vehicles.
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Resources for the Future (RFF)

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