Pollster Frank Luntz: GOP Could Lose Young Voters Due to Inaction on Climate Change

Students march during a protest on Friday in San Francisco. Students were skipping classes to protest what they see as the failures of their governments to take tough action against global warming. Ben Margot/AP
Ben Margot/AP

GOP pollster Frank Luntz is warning that the GOP could lose young voters in 2020 due to inaction on climate change.

Climate change does not appear to be a top issue, at least according to recent polling data.

A recent Pew Research Survey, conducted between February 19 and March 4, 2019, showed that 46 percent of the 6,127 U.S. adults polled view climate change as a “very big problem” in the country.

As previously reported by Breitbart News, more consider violent crime (49 percent), the fake news epidemic (50 percent), the gap between the rich and poor (51 percent), operations of the U.S. political system (52 percent), affordability of health care (67 percent), and drug abuse (70 percent) as “very big” problems in the country.

Despite that, Luntz warns that the general lack of urgency on climate change-related matters could hurt the GOP down the road.

Results from Luntz Global’s findings are based largely on the Climate Leadership Council’s carbon tax plan, which has Republican support. The plan would “impose a gradually rising carbon tax beginning at $40 per ton and return the money to American people through equal quarterly payments to offset higher energy prices,” the Washington Examiner reports.

The Washington Examiner received Luntz’s memo, which described climate change as “a GOP VULNERABILITY and a GOP OPPORTUNITY.”

The results suggest that over half (58 percent) of those 40 and younger are more worried about climate change now than this time last year. Climate change has been a leading topic for Democrat contenders, and it is possible that the increased language could be affecting vulnerable GOP voters.

Interestingly, the results found that more people– 69 percent– were concerned over the possibility of alienating young voters by dismissing climate change and not necessarily climate change itself.

Fifty-three percent of Republican voters support the carbon dividends approach. The GOP support is more pronounced in younger people, with 75% of Republicans under 40 years old backing the proposal.

Luntz’s firm surveyed 1,000 voters in May. The margin of error was not listed in the Washington Examiner’s report.

In December, former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced bipartisan legislation similar to the Climate Leadership Council’s carbon tax proposal.

“Republicans need to get serious about climate change,” Flake tweeted at the time.”That’s why I introduced a revenue-neutral carbon tax bill in the House several years ago.”

“Today, @ChrisCoons & I have introduced a bipartisan, revenue-neutral carbon tax bill that provides an honest path to clean energy,” he added.


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