Voters Say They Want Action On Climate Change Even If It's Not A Top Issue This Year

WASHINGTON -- A plurality of likely voters in Tuesday's election thinks that climate change is happening as a result of human activity and supports the federal government acting to cut emissions, according to a HuffPost/YouGov survey released Monday.

Forty-four percent of respondents said they believe human activity is driving climate change, and 33 percent said they believe the climate is changing but not because of human activity. Just 12 percent said the climate is not, in fact, changing.

When asked about federal government regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, 49 percent said they favored stricter regulations. Thirty-five percent said they were opposed.

A majority of voters also said they wanted Congress to pass its own legislation dealing with climate change within the next year, with 24 percent saying they thought it was "very important" for Congress to pass legislation and 29 percent saying it was "somewhat important."

Thirty-six percent of likely voters thought issues related to the environment had gotten "too little" attention from candidates running in the midterm elections. Twenty-two percent said they thought that environmental issues had gotten "too much" attention, and 27 percent said they had gotten "about the right amount" of attention this election season.

Voters who supported a Democratic candidate were more than four times as likely than those supporting a Republican to support greenhouse gas regulations, and to believe climate change exists and is driven by human activity.

Environmental groups have spent an unprecedented amount of money on this year's election, but it was still dwarfed by energy industry spending. And while climate change has emerged as an issue in some key races this year, for most voters it has ranked below issues like the economy and national security.

The Huffington Post's Ariel Edwards-Levy contributed reporting.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted Nov. 1-3 among 782 likely voters using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here.



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