A new Emerson College poll suggests that the wording around carbon pricing — whether voters support a carbon "tax" versus a carbon "fine on corporations" — could matter a lot.

Why it matters: Several 2020 White House hopefuls — including Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren — have endorsed some kind of pricing, though details are scarce.

What they found: Emerson polled slightly over 1,000 voters on Sept. 21–23.

  • The question: "Would you support or oppose a carbon tax?" The answer: 35% supported it, 27% opposed and 38% percent were unsure. (Margin of error is 4.9%.)
  • The question, posed to the other half of the group: "Would you support or oppose a fine on corporations that pollute the air with carbon dioxide?” The answer: 52% supported it, 25% opposed and 24% were unsure. (MOE is 4.3%.)

But, but, but: The level of public support for a given policy is just loosely related to its chances of advancement.

  • Needless to say, there are all kinds of detailed policy design questions beyond the scope of these 30,000-foot level questions.
  • But generally speaking, a fine on companies would probably seep through into their prices.

Go deeper: Carbon tax campaign unveils new details and backers

Editor's note: This story has been clarified to reflect that, when asked about a "carbon tax," 35% of voters polled by Emerson supported the measure and 27% opposed it.

Go deeper

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump says if Biden's elected, "he'll listen to the scientists"Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  4. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  5. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  6. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  7. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.
2 hours ago - Health

Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic

President Trump attacked CNN for continuing to cover the coronavirus pandemic, calling the network "dumb b*stards" at a campaign rally in Prescott, Arizona on Monday.

Why it matters: The president's attacks on the media and Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious-disease expert, come as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are again surging across the country, just two weeks out from Election Day.

3 hours ago - World

Deal to remove Sudan as terror sponsor paves way for Israel move

President Trump announced Monday that he will be removing Sudan from the State Department’s state sponsors of terrorism list after the Sudanese government agreed to pay $335 million in compensation for families of American victims of terrorism.

The big picture: Trump's announcement is part of a wider agreement that is expected to include moves from Sudan toward normalizing relations with Israel.