Environmental Groups Admitting Green Agenda Lost On Voters In 2016 Election – Only 2% cared about issue
BY MICHAEL SANDOVAL
Members of the outdoor industry and environmental groups presented strategies for political campaigns in the 2018 mid-term elections at an industry lunch in Denver on Thursday hosted by the Outdoor Industry Association and featuring representatives from activist groups like Center For Western Priorities (CWP) and the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF).
Two of the nation’s leading pollsters released polling results with strategies to elevate conservation issues in the 2018 midterms while conceding policies like climate change and public lands were low priorities for voters in the 2016 presidential election.
Lori Weigel, a Republican pollster from Public Opinion Strategies, and Dave Metz of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, a Democratic pollster, offered analysis on polling they conducted on behalf of the Colorado College State of the Rockies Project. The poll’s results appeared to show a strong voter preference against actions and policies undertaken by the Trump administration since early 2017.
Both pollsters admitted that issues broadly defined within the conservation sphere—including climate change or public lands policies—did not resonate with the vast majority of voters polled, with just 2 percent naming environmental concerns as having an effect on their 2016 vote.
When the pollsters asked people to rank the issues that are most important to their votes, Metz said, “conservation issues, even though we ask them they say, ‘yeah that matters to me,’ they’re not top of mind. It’s not the first thing they think of.”
The poll surveyed 400 registered voters in eight states: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.
“In the last presidential election on election night we interviewed over 2,000 voters and asked them, ‘Other than personal characteristics, what were the issues?’ And they could say, literally, any issue. We recorded that and collapsed them into categories. And they could name more than one issue as well, which is sometimes where conservation gets shoved to the side,” Weigel said.