8:18 AM, Oct 2, 2015 • By ELI LEHRER
Some new findings on how conservative voters think about energy issues from a bevvy of top-tier GOP pollsters ought to be required reading for the eventual Republican presidential nominee. While the new polls, commissioned by the ClearPath Foundation, offer some intuitive political messaging advice (e.g., GOP candidates would do well with an energy agenda that emphasizes energy security, rather than a changing climate) some less intuitive results offer advice to GOP candidates about what not to do. Namely, while Republicans probably shouldn’t try to run on clean- energy issues, running against them probably won’t help either.
The data show that clean energy issues are actually pretty popular even amongst the conservative base. An overwhelming 87 percent of self-described conservative Republicans polled said they support policies that allow them to sell rooftop-generated solar power back to utilities. This practice, known as net metering, has mostly faced criticism from the political right, in part because it clearly hurts utility company profits while promoting the interests of alternative energy consumers that receive direct subsidies. (The utilities, it’s worth noting, get some subsidies of their own.)
That isn’t the only surprise. Conservatives actually were slightly more likely than the population as a whole (58 vs. 57 percent) to support allowing people to put solar panels on their own homes without penalty. What's more, about two-thirds of self-described conservatives supported mandating that monopoly utilities invest in solar and wind power (not a particularly free-market idea), while nearly 60 percent also supported vastly increased R&D spending on energy technology. Most also agree that climate change is human-caused.
Among all Republican voters, majorities also voiced support for carbon taxes (worth considering provided they are used to replace big-government regulation and to cut other taxes) as well as for wind and solar power subsidies (which are simply bad ideas). Ultimately, there simply weren't many significant differences on energy issues between self-identified conservatives and the public as a whole. Conservatives are fonder of nuclear power and are more cautious of most subsidies and mandates but even these differences are smaller than one might expect.
None of which is to say that energy and environmental issues will get many Republicans to the polls by themselves or steal voters from the Democrats. Only about 2 to 3 percent of voters, nearly all Democrats, identify the environment the most important issue facing the country. Even among environmental issues, matters like water and air quality rate more important than climate change or energy in poll after poll.
By the same token, it seems clear that all-out-attacks on clean-energy technology aren’t going to win Republican votes, either. There are still plenty of ways for Republicans running for office to talk about energy while drawing clear distinctions between themselves and the Democrats. The Obama administration's record of crony capitalism (Solyndra), big government power grabs (the so-called “clean power plan”), and bloated legislation (Waxman-Markey) offers great targets. But if Republicans take anything away from this polling, it should be this: it’s almost certainly a better idea to attack the means by which the Obama administration has pursued clean energy goals, not the underlying idea of forwarding cleaner energy and reduced carbon-dioxide emissions.
2:04 PM, Sep 30, 2015 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
We're two weeks from the first Democratic debate and to be honest with you, I can't tell right now if we are underestimating Hillary Clinton's weakness, or her strength.
The VP trails Hillary, even with Bernie.9:20 AM, Sep 23, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Vice President Joe Biden has made significant gains in the national Democratic primary polls in recent weeks, with a new Bloomberg poll showing a quarter of registered Democratic primary voters supportin him, his best numbers yet.
10:48 AM, Sep 14, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
New polls of likely Republican voters in two early primary states show Donald Trump maintaining a solid lead for the presidential nomination. The CBS News/YouGov tracking polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire show the real-estate magnate and reality TV star with big leads in those states.
8:16 AM, Sep 10, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
More Iowa Democrats say they support Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in a new Quinnipiac poll of likely caucusgoers. According to the poll, 41 percent say they support Sanders, the Vermont senator, with 40 percent supporting Clinton, the former secretary of state and New York senator. In addition, 12 percent say they are supporting Vice President Joe Biden, who is not yet in the race.
A 12-point drop in support since July.6:01 PM, Sep 8, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new Pew poll finds shrinking support among the American people for the nuclear deal with Iran. The poll found 49 percent are opposed to the deal, with 21 percent in support and 30 percent who say they don't know.
That's a 12-point drop in support for the deal from Pew's poll two months ago, which found 33 percent supported the deal and 45 percent oppose it. Here's more from Pew:
12:01 PM, Sep 8, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new national poll of Democrats and Democrat leaners finds Hillary Clinton with 42 percent support in her party's presidential primary, down 10 points from a month ago and facing significant opposition from other candidates. The Monmouth University poll found Clinton, the former secretary of state, fell from 52 percent support last month, the first time she has failed to get a majority of Democrats in Monmouth's poll.
Ben Carson's rise in the polls.9:29 AM, Sep 8, 2015 • By JIM SWIFT
With the summer of Trump coming to a close, the fall might belong to Dr. Ben Carson. Earlier this year, we labeled Carson "the 2016 campaign’s most interesting long shot" -- but that long-shot is seeing a rise in the polls in Iowa, and nationally.
In January, executive editor Fred Barnes profiled Carson in a cover story titled "Taking Ben Carson Seriously." And it appears that primary voters are doing just that.
3:59 PM, Sep 1, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
More than 200 elected officials, Republican and conservative activists, and business leaders have signed a letter to CNN president Jeff Zucker requesting the cable network award Carly Fiorina a spot in the upcoming Republican presidential primary debate. Fiorina campaign staff posted the letter on Medium, with a note saying the campaign is "so grateful for their support."
Read the contents of the letter below:
Carly Fiorina comes in second.11:16 AM, Aug 31, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new poll of likely Republican caucusgoers in Iowa finds Donald Trump and Ben Carson tied for the lead at 23 percent support. The Monmouth University poll is the first since July to show Trump not in the sole lead position in Iowa.
Behind Trump and Carson in the poll is Carly Fiorina at 10 percent support. All three top candidates are not officeholders and only one, Fiorina, has ever run for public office before.
11:14 AM, Aug 25, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new poll of "usual" Republican primary voters in New Hampshire gives Donald Trump his biggest lead yet in the Granite State. The Public Policy Polling survey found Trump with 35 percent support, a good 26-point advantage over the next closest GOP candidate, Ohio governor John Kasich at 11 percent. Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO, has 10 percent support.
But Clinton leads among senior citizens.10:16 AM, Aug 25, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton in a new poll of "usual" New Hampshire Democratic primary voters. According to Public Policy polling, a Democratic firm, Sanders has 42 percent support to Clinton's 35 percent support.