The spatial distribution of Republican and Democratic climate opinions at state and local scales
- 4.8k Downloads
Even as US partisan polarization shapes climate and energy attitudes, substantial heterogeneity in climate opinions still exists among both Republicans and Democrats. To date, our understanding of this partisan heterogeneity has been limited to analysis of national- or, less commonly, state-level opinion poll subsamples. However, the dynamics of political representation and issue commitments play out over more finely resolved state and local scales. Here we use previously validated multilevel regression and post-stratification (MRP) models (Howe et al., Nat Clim Chang 5(6):596–603 2015; Mildenberger et al., PLoS One 11(8):e0159774 2016) combined with a novel approach to measuring the distribution of party members to model, for the first time, the spatial distribution of partisan climate and energy opinions. We find substantial geographic variation in Republican climate opinions across states and congressional districts. While Democratic party members consistently think human-caused global warming is happening and support climate policy reforms, the intensity of their climate beliefs also varies spatially at state and local scales. These results have policy-relevant implications for the trajectory of US climate policy reforms.
Thanks to Baobao Zhang, Chris Warshaw, Lyle Scruggs, and two anonymous reviewers for comments on an earlier draft of this paper.
- Leiserowitz T, Maibach E, ReserRenouf C, Rosenthal S, Cutler M (2017) Trump voters and global warming. Yale University and George Mason Project on Climate Change CommunicationGoogle Scholar
- McCright AM, Dunlap RE (2011a) Cool dudes: the denial of climate change among conservative white males in the United States. Glob Environ Chang 21(4):1163–1172Google Scholar
- McCright AM, Dunlap RE (2011b) The politicization of climate change and polarization in the American public’s views of global warming, 2001–2010. Sociol Q 52 (2):155–194Google Scholar
- Mildenberger M (2015) Fiddling while the world burns: the logic of double representation in comparative climate policymaking. PhD thesis, Yale University, New HavenGoogle Scholar
- Park DK, Gelman A, Bafumi J (2006) State-level opinions from national surveys: poststratification using multilevel logistic regression. In: Cohen JE (ed) Public opinion in state politics. Stanford University Press. 209–228Google Scholar
- Pew Research Center (2016) The politics of climateGoogle Scholar
- Rabe BG (2004) Statehouse and greenhouse: the emerging politics of American climate change policy. Brookings Institution Press, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
- Raymond L (2016) Reclaiming the atmospheric commons: the regional greenhouse gas initiative and a new model of emissions trading. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar