Nov 8, 2019

A fracking ban could be a dicey proposal for Democrats in 2020

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Data: KFF and The Cook Political Report; Note: Margin of sampling error for Democrat voters: ±3%, Swing voters ±4%; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New polling of four battleground states shows the Green New Deal concept is highly popular, while calls to ban hydraulic fracturing could create political headwinds.

The big picture: Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have embraced both ideas, while Joe Biden has not called for a fracking ban.

The Kaiser Family Foundation and Cook Political Report surveyed voters in the "Blue Wall" of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — once Democratic strongholds that Trump narrowly won — and Minnesota, where he narrowly lost.

  • They found a lot of backing for the Green New Deal. 67% of swing voters and 92% of self-reported Democratic voters in the four-state region like it.
  • However, the fracking proposal is not popular with swing voters at 40% combined in the region, while among Democratic voters, it's got modest support at 54%.

The big picture: Phrasing matters, so here's how they did it...

  • Pollsters asked about "a Green New Deal that would address climate change through new regulations and increases in government spending on green jobs and energy-efficient infrastructure."
  • "A ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a drilling method that uses high-pressure water and chemicals to extract natural gas and oil."

Of note: The combined margin of error for the Democrats is plus-or-minus 4% on those energy questions, and 3% for swing voters.

  • But error margins for the specific states are higher, at 6% to 7%, so keep that in mind when assessing those results.

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