Swing voters in four battleground states decisively oppose President Trump’s sweeping rollbacks of environmental regulations — but it’s unlikely to sway their votes.
Why it matters: Voters living in these states — Florida, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Michigan — fill pivotal roles in electing America’s presidents.
- Comments from focus groups of nearly three dozen swing voters suggest they have real concerns over the environment and the effects of climate change — but also that they don't like any 2020 Democrat enough to abandon Trump.
What they’re saying: Kathy, a 62-year-old Floridian, lamented the toxic algae blooms afflicting waterways in the area, including the nearby town of Stuart.
- Although she didn't blame Trump for that algae, she indicated it made her aware of the importance of environmental protection, which she says Trump isn't prioritizing.
- “Go out here to Stuart, and drink some of the water out of the canal and see what happens to you,” Kathy told me after a recent focus group in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. “Dogs are dying from that water.”
The big picture: These positions put Florida’s swing voters squarely in line with national polling.
- A Washington Post-ABC poll from last summer found voters measured Trump most negatively on climate change, while this AP poll from September found two-thirds of voters disapproved of his handling on the problem.
How it works: The focus groups in each of the four states were asked to rate, 0-10, to what degree they support Trump’s rollbacks of environmental regulations. This was asked twice: first without showing a list of 17 specific rollbacks, and then after.
- The groups gave an average rating of 4.5 before seeing the list, and 3.2 after.
- Florida voters were also read a quote from Trump explaining why he’s rolling back regulations, including creating jobs, but that didn’t change their views.
- Click here to see the list plus the Trump quote that was shared with participants.
“Before seeing that list of rollbacks, my hand would have been up 100% for Trump. After seeing it, my hand was not up. I’m not 100% sold on him. I would say I’m 80% sold on Trump just because of a lot of the other things he stands for.”— Matthew B., a 34-year-old Florida resident
What’s next: Matthew says he’s not sure who he’s going to vote for. Kathy and four of the other Florida voters said they plan to vote for Trump again, despite opposing his environmental record.
Click here to read the full column.