Climate Skepticism Doesn’t Win Elections

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 20 2012 @ 9:28am


New research (pdf) from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication suggests that "there are more 'pro-climate issues voters' than ardent climate naysayer voters—even amongst registered Republican voters." Brian Merchant considers the pros and cons if the GOP were to change its tune:

If Romney were to start including the talking point "I promise to seek out ways to address climate change" in his stump speech, 28% of "climate issues voters" would then be swayed to vote for him. Meanwhile, only 10% would be so disgusted by his global warming "alarmism" (what the fringy right calls agreeing with 97% of scientists in the field) that they'd be less inclined to go Romney at the ballot box. That's a net gain of 18% more voters!

Which makes sense, in theory. But we've got to remember that the 10% faction up there happens to include some of the most powerful, relevant elements of the Republican Party right now—the Tea Party leadership, anti-regulation oil & gas execs, and Fox News and the pundit class. And you don't want to piss them off.