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Polling young voters on climate

League of Conservation Voters Youth Climate Poll

A recent poll (PDF) conducted for the League of Conservation Voters suggests that young voters regard climate change as a threat and are suspicious of climate change denial. A July 26, 2013, press release from the LCV commented, "Climate deniers are so last generation. LCV released a bipartisan poll this week showing how climate change stands to become a defining issue for young voters nationwide."

Asked for their view of climate change, 55% of respondents preferred "is a severe threat that we must start addressing now," while 11% preferred "is an issue to address in the years ahead, but it's not urgent now," 27% preferred "may be happening, but it's a natural event that humans can't affect," 3% preferred "is not really happening," and 3% said that they didn't know.

Asked how they would react if their elected representatives denied that climate change was a real problem, 68% of respondents said that they would be somewhat or much less likely to vote for them, 20% said that they would be somewhat or much more likely to vote for them, 9% said that it would not affect their vote either way, and 3% said that they didn't know.

Asked which of several words they would use to describe a politician who says that climate change is not really happening, 73% of respondents preferred a negative adjective (37% for "ignorant"; 29% for "out-of-touch"; 7% for "crazy"), while 23% preferred a positive adjective (12% for "independent"; 8% for "commonsense"; 3% for "thoughtful"), and 3% said they didn't know.

The poll was conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group and GS Strategy Group, which conducted 600 telephone interviews nationwide from July 8 to July 10, 2013. According to a July 24, 2013, memorandum (PDF), "All respondents were registered voters age 18-34 who voted in the 2012 general election. The margin of error for the entire sample is +/-3.9% at the 95% confidence level."