As the hurricane season comes to a close, it’s a natural time to take stock of how climate impacts voters and where voters stand on climate change. Nationally, 57% of Americans say that climate change is a major threat, up from 40% in 2013, according to Pew Research Center. The 2018 Exit Polls allows for a closer look at voters’ opinions on climate change in Florida – a state that may have more at stake than others as it contends with hurricanes, tropical storms, and rising sea levels.
66% of Floridian voters in 2018 and 65% in 2016 said that climate change is a serious problem, according to the Edison Research Exit Polls. While the 2018 Exit Poll was conducted less than a month after a destructive category 5 hurricane hit Florida, voter concern changed little in the state from 2016 to 2018.
Just as a majority of Florida voters said that climate change is a concern, a majority of voters also indicated that they support additional government action on the problem. The 2018 Exit Poll found that almost 70% of voters said the government should do more to protect the Florida environment, while only a quarter said it was doing enough.
While it is primarily Florida Democrats who are championing government intervention, with 93% saying the government should do more, almost three quarters of Independents (73%) and nearly half of Republicans (49%) also agree with that sentiment.
While it is unsurprising that Democrats are more concerned about climate change than Republicans, it may be surprising that concern is similar across all age groups. More than 60% of Florida 18-29 year olds, 30-59 year olds, and voters age 60 or older say that climate change is a serious problem, and concern among voters age 30 and older has increased since 2016, from 63% to 67%.
Florida will receive a lot of attention in 2020 as both a swing state and as a state at the forefront of climate change. While there may be increasing attention on climate change, based on what we know from the Exit Polls in 2018, it is unlikely that any one extreme weather event will move the needle significantly on public opinion.
About Edison Research:
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information in over 50 countries for clients including AMC Theatres, AMC Theatres, Amazon, Apple, The Brookings Institute, Facebook, The Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Samsung, Spotify, and SiriusXM Radio. The national tracking study The Infinite Dial® and the syndicated Share of Ear® are two of the most widely-cited studies in the audio space. Edison is also the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the podcasting space. Edison’s network of more than 20,000 experienced interviewers allows the company to conduct research in almost any location. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool. For the 2020 U.S. elections, Edison will provide exit polls and will tabulate the national vote across every county in the United States for ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News.