Poll: Indy Californians Still Support Climate Action

Independent-voter survey says two-thirds consider themselves “conservationists”

Craig Miller

Independent California voters are feeling the heat from climate change, according to a new poll.

The nearly unanimous rejection of climate science by Republican presidential candidates has not swayed most independent voters in California, according to a new poll.

The survey, commissioned by the California League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, finds that nearly two-in-three (63%) voters who decline to state a party affiliation, agree that “climate change is occurring and is a major problem that needs to be addressed.” Thirty-one percent said that climate change is not an issue worth addressing, as the science is still unclear.

Another finding was that a substantial majority (69%) agreed that “environmental regulations provide an important benefit to our society,” while 21% agreed with a statement that they do more harm than good. The approach of the survey was to offer two opposing statements on each matter and ask which one “comes closest to your own view.” These two environmental questions did not offer degrees of agreement, as did some others in the poll.

Another interesting finding — with implications for political candidates — was that indies are avid adopters of smartphones and online social media. Indy voters polled said they were Facebook users by a margin of about 60-40. A chart in the survey shows the reverse proportion for voters overall, though that data was drawn from a poll done a year-and-a-half ago.

Tulchin Research conducted the poll in late October-early November among 600 decline-to-state voters in California, a block which Tulchin says has grown from 15-to-20% of California voters over the past five years. The survey has a margin of error of four percentage points.