The Sierra Club released a poll yesterday showing substantial support for EPA’s efforts to regulate carbon emissions from power plants. The poll was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, whose representative, Andrew Baumann, was quoted in E&E News as saying that the poll demonstrates that EPA “is not a bogeyman.” Indeed, the poll shows 44% of respondents with positive feelings toward EPA and only 27% negative. I still don’t see Senate Democrats in seats targeted by the GOP running into EPA’s arms as a campaign strategy.
Since the poll is probably right, it is an interesting question why common sense nonetheless says that running on a platform of support for EPA is not a great strategy for vulnerable Democrats. Of course, the results are not broken down by state and we thus don’t know what those result look like for the states in play this fall.
I actually thought that a few of the other results from the poll were interesting. For example, 56% of respondents thought EPA already regulates carbon emissions from power plants. Only 28% of respondents thought not. Also, coal companies have an overall net favorable rating in the poll, though not nearly so favorable as that of EPA.
When coal companies do 55% better than Congress (Congress net -51%; coal companies net +4%), that probably tells you all you really need to know about the current political situation.
While encouraged by the poll’s results, it was nonetheless achieved with a relatively small sample size (just over 1000) for a national poll. In addition, I saw some of the questions used by the polling company and they are extremely generic and can easily be manipulated to get a variety answers from the respondents. Bottom line, I get the impression the poll was taken more for getting favorable publicity for the Sierra Club and less about how Americans feel about the EPA and its mission.
I’m sure you are right. It’s not exactly a push poll, but it definitely had a purpose.