Photo of the Grand Canyon with text that reads Battleground State Poll: Political priorities and opinions on climate change

We're excited to share new polling data evaluating Senate, Governor, and congressional races in four battleground states – Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania – as well as the priorities of both likely and unlikely voters.

Overall the data shows that even in a time of high gas prices and inflation, voters are still likely to back climate-first candidates and that motivating environmentalists to vote could impact four major swing states. EVP partnered with Beacon Research – a leading national polling firm – to survey over 3,200 registered voters about their voting choices, habits and motivations. 

Top takeaways from the report include:

  • Democrats could dominate in the 4 closest battleground states (AZ, GA, NV, PA) if get-out-the-vote campaigns are successful in pulling lower propensity voters off the sidelines. Among likely voters, most Democratic Sen. and Gov. candidates are doing well, but among unlikely voters they are almost uniformly dominating their Republican opponents.
  • The climate movement clearly needs more political power (with only 5% of likely voters listing it as their most important factor when choosing a candidate), but there are strong indications that significant climate concern is lying dormant and waiting to be activated: (a) in states like Pennsylvania and Nevada, unlikely voters are twice as likely as likely voters to list climate as the most important factor when choosing a candidate, and (b) when focusing on "long-term" priorities, "climate change & the environment" jumps to the #3 on likely voters' list of top issue priorities.
  • Even at a time of high gas prices, being climate-friendly has very little downside in these four battleground states. Both Democrats and Independents think that congressional Democrats are doing too little to address climate change, and even 33% of Republicans agree that congressional Democrats need to do more on climate.

“This data shows that the millions of climate voters we saw in 2020 haven’t disappeared, they’re just lying dormant,” said Nathaniel Stinnett, Founder and Executive Director of the Environmental Voter Project.  “The climate movement is a huge bloc of latent political power, and if a newly-revived reconciliation bill motivates climate voters to flex their muscles, they could easily impact races for Governor, Senate, and the House in these battleground states.”

A data chart titled Importance of climate when choosing a candidate

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Although Pennsylvania has a reputation as a state where Democrats must support fossil fuels, 44% of PA Independents think congressional Democrats are doing too little on climate change and even 29% of the state’s Republicans want congressional Democrats to do more to address climate change.

  • Independents in these battleground states list “climate change and the environment” as their third most important long-term priority; Democrats list it as their second most important long-term priority.

  • 27% of registered voters in Georgia consider their state’s voting laws to be complicated, including 37% of Black voters.

The poll also offered unique looks into the state of the races in the four battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Key likely voter insights include:

  • Arizona: Sen. Mark Kelly (D) leads his possible opponents by 10-12pts; Katie Hobbs (D) leads her possible gubernatorial opponents by 8-9pts.

  • Georgia: Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) leads Herschel Walker (R) 48%-43% in the Senate race, and Gov. Brian Kemp (R) leads Stacey Abrams (D) 51%-43% in the Governor’s race, but both Democrats have a huge advantage among lower propensity voters who are less likely to cast a ballot.

  • Nevada: Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) leads Adam Laxalt (R) 51%-45% in the Senate race, and Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) holds a 48%-46% advantage over Joe Lombardo (R) in the Governor’s race.

  • Pennsylvania: Despite Republicans having a 5pt advantage on the state’s generic congressional ballot, both statewide Democratic candidates currently hold comfortable leads: John Fetterman (D) leads Mehmet Oz (R) 50%-39% in the US Senate race, and Josh Shapiro (D) leads Doug Mastriano (R) 52%-39% in the Governor’s race.

Read the Full Report (PDF)

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