Climate and electoral success

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.

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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.

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45 thoughts on “Climate and electoral success

  1. Even excluding the unrepresentative nature of the three states they choose, and the problem with paying participants.
    It was a cell phone survey. Owners of cell phones are not representative of the larger population.

  2. It’s too bad the voters are not more discriminating as the scam will never die and insidiously keep bleeding us until we get it dead.
    Considering how much damage has been done to our economy, and continues to be done, in the name of being green, intelligent people should go the other way.
    It’s another way to split the Republican vote, though.

  3. “……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.”
    ===============================================================
    The whole basis of the AGW meme is anti-jobs, larger govt., increased spending and increasing taxes. I find that anyone embracing the AGW meme to be totally incompatible with my political and economic priorities.

  4. So… democrats are easily swayed by “green” credentials, as if they count. Republicans have actual important things that matter.
    Again, it’s the great divide: left = emotion, right = facts. This explains why people who work with emotion-based occupations (artists, teachers, psychologists, reporters, etc) tend to the left, while people who work with, let’s say, “reality” tend to the right (construction workers, business people).
    Whether your politics are left or right, or you’re one of the huge mass that think they’re in the middle (hah!), you have to be able to see that something that is almost completely emotion-driven is suspect. It doesn’t help that the age group currently in the driver’s seat for political power is the boomer generation, who had their world-view irreparably distorted by Vietnam and other 60s era upheaval.
    Honestly, everyone I know on the “right” are for more interested in ensuring that someone they vote for is capable of doing their job and representing them than any other consideration.

  5. Thanks for the Electoral College map for the 2008 Presidential Election, Anthony. Now we know who to blame for our

    Current administration
    Foreign wars
    Horrible economy
    Dept of Injustice
    Nationalized Heatlh Care
    Etc., etc.

  6. President Obama has completely failed the Green movement, climate change alarmists, and his far-left liberal base. The Democrats had complete control over Congress and the White House and could have passed ANYTHING they wanted. Climate change legislation easily passed the House under Pelosi’s leadership but never was brought up for debate in the Senate even though Harry Reid had 60-votes (filibuster proof).
    Why would Obama want a public debate in the Senate when he could simply ram through an legislation through the back door with EPA executive orders?

  7. “Climate change legislation has been on the back burner since 2009 and an increasing number of Republican lawmakers now call themselves skeptics as well. Indeed, the tide of the debate—at least politically—has turned in their favor. [See a slide show of 10 animals that are threatened by global warming.]”
    I guess the slide show is to prevent anyone from moving to the sceptic side.

  8. What a bunch of dishonest manipulation.
    The few Republicans who have embraced the biggest left wing movement in human history have been getting hammered by their constiuents.
    The hefty blowback Newt got for his visit to the AGW couch with Nancy Pellosi is exhibit A.
    But that was a few years ago.
    It’s much worse now that the AGW con job is so obviously a left wing movement that is used to advance countless left wing causes.
    There’s no way Stanford or any other AGW activists can put this left wing cat back in the bag.
    The left wing progressive democrats own the AGW movement with all it’s fatal flaws and conniving racketeers.
    By the time November 2012 arrives the green stench will be so bad not a single Republican will go near it.

  9. 1871 : Peshtigo, Wis: over 1,500 lives lost and 3.8 million acres burned in nation’s worst forest fire.
    Until 2011 : The Wallow Fire on the Apache-Sitgreaves Forest in the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona-now the largest wildfire in Arizona history-grew to over a half million acres in just three weeks, charring in its wake some of the most treasured Ponderosa Pine country in the state.
    This fire, however, is not the only one burning in Arizona: the Horseshoe Two Fire, the Murphy Complex, the Stanley Fire and the Monument Fire have already blackened another 200,000+ acres. These are some of the most beautiful grasslands and rugged mountain ranges in southern and central Arizona.
    In total, over a million acres of Forest Service lands have burned in the American Southwest, as well as another 600,000 acres of federal, state, and private lands. The fires are costing millions of dollars in immediate fire response and will cost many millions more in restoration and rehabilitation in the months and years ahead.
    The five largest wildfires, Rodeo in 2002, Cave Creek in 2005, Willow in 2004, Aspen in 2003, and now the current Wallow Fire have all occurred in the last ten years. Prior to 1990, the largest fire was the Carrizo fire in 1970 which burned just 57,000 acres. The frequency of fires, and the magnitude of the acreage burned, has exponentially increased since 1990.

  10. Bob B says:
    July 6, 2011 at 10:30 am
    “I guess the slide show is to prevent anyone from moving to the sceptic side.”
    ===========================================================
    Naw, it was to separate the wheat from the chaff, The gullible ones would stay Dem, clear thinkers to move to Repub. Pikas, possums, and polar bears….oh my.

  11. Implementation of cap and trade can shore up social security and medicare by starving and freezing seniors. sarc/

  12. I think they are actually afraid that the GOP candidate will turn energy policy based on AGW bashing into a serious issue. And I imagine the GOP is pussy whipped enough to avoid the issue in the election by sending girly man Romney to do Bachmann’s job of cleaning up this mess.
    Romney 2011: “I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing”
    Bachmann 2011: “We have got more oil in three Western states in shale oil than all of Saudi Arabia. Did you hear that on your local nightly news? Are you kidding? We’ve got it. I say let’s go get it.”

  13. According to Pew last year only 34% of Americans believe that the world is warming AND mankind’s co2 emissions are to blame. I’m waiting for a candidate who will speak confidently to the 66% who don’t believe and mock the Alarmists. Too many politicians think that environmentalists are standing on some moral high ground and they’re afraid to stand up to them. Nonsense. Make fun of them. Laugh in their face. Give them the bird, so to speak.

  14. One of my leftist sisters asked me if I really thought the AGW/ anticarbon stuff had damaged the economy.
    These people have no clue as to how devastating those laws really are. They cost so much it is mind boggling and a near-complete explanation for today’s high unemployment rates.
    Now how do we get the facts across to America’s and Europe’s unemployed?

  15. I’ll probably vote for a moderate, yes, probably Obama! I fear and expect that he’ll probably make some appeal to the greens (who are a constituency of the Democrats) who I distrust only slightly less than the equally emotional right, to use Codetech’s terminology, those Tea Party and other ideologes who don’t know the difference between Keysian economics and socialism. Although AGW won’t be a deal breaker, and the moderate Republicans I might vote for, Huntsman and Romney embrace it, CAGW campaign hype would come pretty close to being a deal breaker for me. Unaffiliated center left voter here.

  16. Anthony, you have to know when you have won and how you have won. There is a reason that climate is a non-issue in the upcoming election. It is because it has been appropriately MADE a non-issue by undressing the warmists and their fake science in this blog as well as other places. Imagine if the countervailing arguments to global warming were not publicized. The election process would place the blame for all ills, unemployment, oil prices, old age, and political unrest in the middle east on global warming and a herd of goremannmonbiot creatures would be elected to our complete eventual destruction.
    You need to know when you have won and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, as related to debate, prevents you from being aware of your victory. You are involved and you effect the outcome so how can you possibly see that the world, were it not for you (and us), would be a much worse place.
    Climate and global warming is in its rightful place… at the bottom of our worries. It wasn’t there 5 years ago… but it is now. Pat yourself on your backs. Keep promoting solid science and ridiculing the activists.

  17. It’s kind of funny they show 2008 presidential election results and not 2010 interim election results. There were a number of traditionally democratic rust belt blue states that turned red. The most stunning piece of information I gleaned from the exit polling results was that 45 % of blue collar union members in these traditional heavy industry states voted for a Republican representative. I cannot believe that personal economic priorities coupled with the possibility that climate change legislation might push their jobs off shore did not factor into their decisions. In other words, fear of climate change regulation is an economic factor, particularly in this traditionally democratic base.

  18. Well, I don’t like the sample bias in the study, but as far as the paid participation and the cell phone nature, they’re not big issues. People have done several studies comparing the results of paid vs non-paid and got the same results. Cellphones used to be a confounding factor, but they’re pretty much ubiquitous now, and you can do a good study using them (if you take care on other issues).
    But the sample bias is real, and enough to make me question its applicability to the wider electorate.

  19. common terry says:
    July 6, 2011 at 10:54 am
    “1871 : Peshtigo, Wis: over 1,500 lives lost and 3.8 million acres burned in nation’s worst forest fire. ………….”
    ===============================================================
    Wow, and I thought I went tangential from time to time. That’s not even close!
    But, have no fear. The fires are more likely a response to overgrown underbrush, occurring because of mismanagement of our nation’s forests. Likely, these fires, while horrific to people in the proximity, will produce healthier and more diverse forests and trees.

  20. It’s not an issue for anyone right now because the politicians, left and right, are more politically savvy than the nerds at Stanford. Democratic candidates are more than welcome to run with this as an issue, however. When their republican opponents note that cap and trade is a form of taxation that will suck the (remaining) life out of the economy, the democrats can then join their constituents in the unemployment line.

  21. That survey leaves open the question as to how voters react if “green items” get tied to economic consequences like higher gas and electricity prices, heating costs, higher taxes to fund more complicated infrastructure projects etc. Against the backdrop of the economic priority in people’s minds, that would likely cause an erosion of “green” sentiment across party lines.

  22. common terry says:
    July 6, 2011 at 10:54 am
    “The five largest wildfires, Rodeo in 2002, Cave Creek in 2005, Willow in 2004, Aspen in 2003, and now the current Wallow Fire have all occurred in the last ten years. Prior to 1990, the largest fire was the Carrizo fire in 1970 which burned just 57,000 acres. The frequency of fires, and the magnitude of the acreage burned, has exponentially increased since 1990.”
    Common Terry What exactly is your point?
    Are you saying we should take steps to eliminate La Nina drought events?
    Or are you promoting bringing back the total fire suppression policies from the 50s, 60s, & 70s that caused this overbuildup underbrush burn material?

  23. At the local, state, and federal level (rep and senator) it is a deal breaker. President probably not that lone issue.

  24. jaypan says:
    July 6, 2011 at 10:59 am
    “Impressive link to “threatened animals” … a must in any article mentioning climate.”
    I’ll say. LOL. They couldn’t even come up with ten without reaching for generalities. Pure desperation.
    Caribou, penguins, polar bears, muskoxen, ‘cold water fish,’ ‘seabirds,’ white lemuroid possum, ‘alpine butterflies,’ pikas, ‘frogs.’
    Except for the possom, which I know nothing about, all of these are BS, threatened only in the AGW model world if that. Those that do have problems have other real problems.
    But this is a great example of how the link between getting research funding and the AGW story has, not surprisingly, produced results linking the status of some things to AGW. And the lucky researchers can ‘monitor the effects of climate change’ on their chosen subject indefinitely – as long as they conveniently find some hint of that being a problem.
    Save the Cold Water Fish!

  25. “yet they based the study mostly on polls in three states, Florida, Maine, and Massachusetts.”
    Stanford dummies. If they wanted to really fudge the reality, they should have picked Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska. Each is a corn ethanol state, yet each can be cast as “conservative” in American gimmicky political analysis.
    The Repub who lost to Witch Lady in the last Delaware Senate primary blamed his support on cap and trade. The Dem who won West Virginia Senate ran tv ads of him shooting a target called `cap and trade’ to kill it.

  26. Jackstraw says:
    July 6, 2011 at 11:47 am
    “Or are you promoting bringing back the total fire suppression policies from the 50s, 60s, & 70s that caused this overbuildup underbrush burn material?”
    Exactly. No fuel, no fire, no matter how hot and dry it is. Period. Though this suppression of fire goes back much further, to the suppression of the aboriginal burning regimes that once burned most areas regularly. That was further compounded by Smokey the Bear policies.
    The famous AGW poster child, the mountain pine beetle, is another variation of the same story. Let all those pines mature and it was endless habitat for the beetles. And again, no habitat, no beetle epidemics, no matter how warm winters are.
    Unfortunately, these fuel buildups now make the fires much more destructive.

  27. 2012 will be one of those times it is noticed that some times it works better if you give it two flushes.
    There were still some green dems clinging to the sides that will be up for election this next cycle.

  28. Anthony,
    You said to the reporter, “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,”
    It is always good to be circumspect when dealing with the MSM media’s distressingly frequent unpredictable bias and surprising unbalanced reporting. Good show.
    John

  29. Obama has set the tone for the Democratic primaries. CAGW is totally on the back burner.
    As for the Republicans, Gingrich and Romney seriously hurt their respective “images” as intelligent and far-sighted when they endorsed CAGW. I had hoped that Romney would prove to be an intelligent problem solver but I found his position on CAGW to be naive. Romney will not be able to get my attention again. I had no hope for Gingrich and now see him as hopeless.

  30. Everybody is in favor of “green” initiatives — at least when they think somebody else is paying for them.

  31. I recently realized how important this issue will be in my selection of a presidential candidate. I am looking for someone who can look the public in the eye and say that this science is not yet resolved to the point where policy should be set based upon it. The most sure fire way I can think of to turn our ecomony around is to elect a president who will stand up and announce that we will aggressively drill for oil and gas in our own country…that although solar, wind and the rest may ultimately prove to be viable sources of energy for some, we are going with what we have for the next hundred or so years. The price of oil would drop immediately and stay down. The world economy would immediately benefit from a cheap source of enery it is already geared up to use.

  32. Sample bias, people
    ——–
    Yes, probably, but how much bias? For a sensible result it would be sufficient to also poll political affiliation at the same time. Simple to do and standard practice.

  33. “telephone surveys”
    conservatives don’t poll……they let the machine get it, then call the “no call” hot line to complain……

  34. @Doug Allen says:
    July 6, 2011 at 11:26 am “…those Tea Party and other ideologes who don’t know the difference between Keysian economics and socialism….”
    Ah yes, that great economist, Keys. Didn’t he write a book “Economics for Dummies”, and bring about great works of economic prestidigitation for President Taft?
    One looks at “Unaffiliated center left voter” with something teetering between open-mouthed dumbfoundedness and outright disdain for one who doesn’t have a clue about which he writes.

  35. I hate to say it, but we’re going to have to put up with this crap for the next 18 months. Hopefully it will be sidelined by the coming hysteria over Dec 21, 2012, which is another load of crap. Sometimes you have to fight crap with crap.

  36. “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.”
    Uhhh…didn’t we just have an election late last year (2010)? And did Global Warming Climate Change factor into the results in any way?? Didn’t think so…
    The way for a candidate to handle the issue in 2012 is to say (1) yes there is (perfectly natural) climate change, (2) yes there is a “greenhouse effect” due to CO2 and water vapor, and (3) the issue is NOT important relative to other matters such as the national debt, taxes and deficit redcution, foreign policy, energy, education, and public health.

  37. James Sexton says:
    July 6, 2011 at 10:18 am
    ===============================================================
    “The whole basis of the AGW meme is anti-jobs, larger govt., increased spending and increasing taxes. I find that anyone embracing the AGW meme to be totally incompatible with my political and economic priorities.”
    James – My sentiments, Exactly!
    Doug Allen says:
    July 6, 2011 at 11:26 am
    “…. I distrust only slightly less ….those Tea Party and other ideologes who don’t know the difference between Keysian economics and socialism.”
    Doug,
    You speak ill of that which you clearly do not understand.

  38. Doug Adam,
    Don’t stick your head in the sand. You should broaden your horizons and view the changing political climate in Australia. The Andrew Bolt blog, his spot in the Steve Price show on Melbourne Talkback Radio MTR 1377 and the Bolt Report on Channel Ten are part of the vanguard of the fight against the watermelons of Oz.
    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/
    If you do not watch worldwide political developments, you’ll end up being duped into playing Roshambo with Eric Cartman, without a clue how such an event came to pass.
    http://www.milkandcookies.com/link/3616/detail/

  39. Paul Westhaver says: July 6, 2011 at 11:26 am
    Anthony, you have to know when you have won and how you have won. There is a reason that climate is a non-issue in the upcoming election. It is because it has been appropriately MADE a non-issue by undressing the warmists and their fake science in this blog as well as other places.
    I’ll second that. These scare stories are always one-sided: the press indulge themselves as the scare develops … and then totally ignore the subject when the scare subsides: unless something really dramatic comes to light.
    Now, “Mann found to have numerous errors that undermine his paper ‘BS as a proxy for real science (2000-11)'” … may be news here, but most people don’t know or care who Mann is and anyway, they know its all BS because anyone with the eyes to see can see it certainly hasn’t warmed and there is not the slightest hint of the sea flooding over the land.

  40. CodeTech says:
    Again, it’s the great divide: left = emotion, right = facts. This explains why people who work with emotion-based occupations (artists, teachers, psychologists, reporters, etc) tend to the left, while people who work with, let’s say, “reality” tend to the right (construction workers, business people).

    Honestly, everyone I know on the “right” are for more interested in ensuring that someone they vote for is capable of doing their job and representing them than any other consideration.

    Sadly, I see far too much emotion coming from the so-called “right” as well, typically with regard to issues regarding personal morals and behavior, and often coupled with those topics being used as “litmus tests” to determine someone’s qualifications for office.
    Unemotional, objective assessment of political candidates is something that just doesn’t happen.

  41. I admit that I don’t know a blasted thing about Keysian economics. I do know a bit about Keynsian economics, however… It is a statist approach to the economy. So is socialism. That said, tru Keynsian economics has NEVER been practiced in the U.S. You see, Keynes not only recommended that nations spend money during bad times, he also advocated them save money during good times so they would have it to spend during the bad times. We’ve only done the spending part, not the saving part. A much better approach, would be the one that Warren G. Harding took to overcome a nasty little depression in the early 20’s. Reagan followed his approach in 1980 to overcome the statist approach of the Carter years.

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