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American Public Opinion on Climate Change and Its Impact on Voting in Congressional and Presidential Elections
RFF Seminar
October 14, 2011

About the event

In recent years, observers have speculated that the American public has become increasingly skeptical about the existence and potential threat of climate change and that the public desire for action by government on this issue has declined. Jon Krosnick presented new survey evidence tracking public opinion in the nation to explore what changes have occurred across the population and in population subgroups.

In addition, Krosnick presented the results of a new study examining whether candidates' positions on climate change policy have influenced their electoral success, using three methods of investigation:

  1. analysis of the relation of candidate website statements on climate with the victory rates of congressional candidates in 2010,
  2. experiments embedded in surveys describing a hypothetical candidate running for a Senate seat, and 
  3. a statistical analysis predicting votes in the 2008 U.S. presidential election using data collected from survey respondents before and after the election. 

The findings paint a portrait of the likely role of climate change in the upcoming elections.


Jon A. Krosnick, Frederic O. Glover Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences, Stanford University
Download Presentation (PDF)


Raymond J. Kopp, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Climate and Electricity Policy, Resources for the Future

Audio and Video
Event Audio (mp3) click to stream and right-click to download

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