Written by Timothy B. Hurst
Throughout his campaign, though more fervently towards the end of it, Barack Obama made it clear that investing in renewable energy and focusing on building a new energy economy would be a centerpiece of his agenda should he have won. And now that he has, the results of a new Zogby poll suggest he’s got the public mandate to do it.
According to the post-election survey, 78% believe investing in clean energy is important to revitalizing America’s economy. Of those, 50% said they strongly agree clean energy investment is vital to the nation’s economic future.
Support for clean energy investment is particularly strong among younger voters - 87% of those age 18-24 and 80% of those age 18-29 believe this type of investment is necessary to help improve the U.S. economy. While the vast majority of Democrats (96%) and independent voters (77%) view clean energy investment as a key means to boost the U.S. economy, more than half of Republican voters (58%) also said the same.
The results also indicate that most voters want their elected officials to focus on global warming - 61% said they agree their elected officials should make combating global warming a high priority, an increase from 58% of voters who said the same in 2006.
Some of the most striking findings were that the desire for a greater political emphasis on global warming has increased 10% among African American voters from 78% in 2006 and to 73% among Hispanic voters from 64% two years ago.
The results of this poll suggest the political calculus has changed somewhat. Pollster John Zogby says that clean energy has emerged as part of voter expectations for getting the economy back on track. “Support for action on global warming, already strong in the 2006 election, was even stronger in 2008, particularly among young voters that are the future electorate,” he said.