Survey: Green New Deal has broad support among U.S. voters

Reps.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, right, and IIhan Omar
Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY., right, with Rep.-elect IIhan Omar, D-Minn. Both are pushing Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal plan.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais | AP

Americans from every political leaning tend to support the Green New Deal, a new survey by Yale and George Mason universities finds.

However, the survey left out that it's nearly all Democrats pushing for the Green New Deal — indicating people support the proposal but perhaps not the politics associated with it.

The Green New Deal would establish a new select committee that would draft broad climate change legislation to transition the U.S. to all renewable energy and cut emissions.

Since the midterm election, support for the plan has grown among congressional Democrats. Minnesota Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar was among the first to jump on board.

For their survey, the researchers gave 966 registered voters the following description of the Green New Deal:

Some members of Congress are proposing a "Green New Deal" for the U.S. They say that a Green New Deal will produce jobs and strengthen America's economy by accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.

The Deal would generate 100% of the nation's electricity from clean, renewable sources within the next 10 years; upgrade the nation's energy grid, buildings, and transportation infrastructure; increase energy efficiency; invest in green technology research and development; and provide training for jobs in the new green economy.

They then asked: "How much do you support or oppose this idea?"

Ninety-three percent of liberal Democrats supported the idea; 57 percent of conservative Republicans supported it.

In a statement, the surveyors noted they left out party affiliations of the politicians leading the charge for a Green New Deal. They cited research showing that people tend to view policies more positively if they're pitched by someone with their same party affiliation.

"These findings may indicate that although most Republicans and conservatives are in favor of the Green New Deal's policies in principle, they are not yet aware that this plan is proposed by the political Left," the statement said.

The Yale/George Mason survey found that 82 percent of registered voters have heard "nothing at all" about the Green New Deal.

While the Green New Deal has roots among the Green Party, incoming New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has given it new life since she won seat in Congress last month. Ocasio-Cortez considers herself a democratic socialist, an ideology held by some of the most left-leaning Democrats.

Proponents of the Green New Deal say aggressive climate action is necessary in the face of scientists' warnings that drastic emissions cuts are necessary by 2030.

Still, there are members of Congress who aren't convinced climate change is happening and are highly unlikely to back a Green New Deal.

Even moderate Democrats like Minnesota U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum have suggested more restrained action such as reviving a select committee on climate change that wouldn't have power to draft bills.

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