Yesterday, I was quoted in a US News and World report article about ICCC6 and the effect of climate on candidates. This is the start of the article.
I was interviewed by the reporter, and without knowing anything about what the article was to be about I answered her question of “How important is climate change to the upcoming primaries?”, my take on it was:
“While there may be some candidates that get pooh-poohed because they might embrace the global warming issue, it won’t be a deal-breaker,” he says.
I tried to step outside of my own bias toward the issue and figured (based on opinion polls we’ve covered here) that because climate has slid so far down the list of issues important to most Americans, that even if a candidate embraces the AGW meme, if they are strong on jobs, cutting taxes, reducing deficit spending, and other key issues, their position on climate will likely get lost in the noise.
Today to my surprise, I find that somebody is actually doing studies at Stanford to analyze the climate-electability issue. But when I read the study, I found this red flag:
Cell phone sample respondents were offered a post-paid reimbursement of $10 for their participation.
I tend to discount any political “study” where people are paid for participation. And, as we know, three states do not an election make, yet they based the study mostly on polls in three states, Florida, Maine, and Massachusetts. When you look at the map of the 2008 election, is it any wonder why their study turned out like it did? Sheesh. Sample bias, people!
From Stanford University
The impact of candidates’ statements about climate change on electoral success
Candidates gain votes by taking a “green” position on climate change — endorsing the existence of warming, human causation, and the need for taking action to address it, according to a new study of U.S. adults.
Among citizens who are Democrats and Independents, a hypothetical U.S. Senate candidate gained votes by making a green statement on climate change and lost votes by making a not-green statement, compared to making no statement on climate. Among citizens who are Republicans, the candidate’s vote share was unaffected by taking a green position or a not-green position, compared to being silent on climate.
These results suggest that by taking a green position on climate, candidates of either party can gain the votes of Democrats and Independents while not alienating Republicans.
These results are based on experiments embedded in telephone surveys of a representative national sample of American adults conducted in November 2010 and in telephone surveys of representative samples of adult residents of three states (Florida, Maine, and Massachusetts) in July 2010.
To read the complete study, “The Impact of Candidates’ Statements about Climate Change on Electoral Success in 2010: Experimental Evidences,” visit http://woods.stanford.edu/docs/surveys/Stanford_Climate_Politics2011.pdf
For more information on Jon Krosnick’s research on public opinion and the environment visit http://woods.stanford.edu/research/surveys.html.