Beliefs Regarding Global Warming by Political Affiliation

The Economist’s "Daily Chart" blog today discusses the results of a recent study conducted by Yale on Americans’ opinions regarding climate change. The study was based on a national survey of 1,010 American adults that was conducted from April 23 to May 12, 2011. Respondents were first asked whether they considered themselves “a Republican, Democrat, Independent, Other, or No Party/Not interested in politics.” In a separate question, they were asked if they considered themselves “a member of the Tea Party movement or not.” The respondents were then asked if they “believed in global warming,” how informed they felt about global warming, and how much more information they would need to form an opinion about global warming. The set of bar graphs below from the Daily Chart blog shows the responses to the three questions regarding global warming by political affiliation. While a majority of Democrats (78%), Independents (71%) and Republicans (53%) responded “Yes” when asked if they believed in global warming, only 34% of Tea Party members reported that they believed global warming was happening. In response to “How informed do you feel about global warming?” 30% of Tea Party members responded that they were “very well informed.” By contrast, only 8% of Democrats, 9% of Independents and 10% of Republicans felt that they were “very well informed.” Members of the Tea Party were also the most likely to respond “I do not need any more information” when asked how much more they would need in order to form a more firm opinion, with 52% of Tea Party members, 22% of Republicans, 20% of Independents and 17% of Democrats responding this way.

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