What Trump Voters Think of Climate Change

By Yessenia Funes Feb 07, 2017

President Donald Trump has always been clear about his stance on climate change—during the campaign and, now, during his presidency. And while more than 61 million people voted for him, a new study shows that he and his supporters disagree when it comes to this global issue.

This one chart says it all:


A new report released yesterday (February 6) by Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communication surveyed 1,226 adults, 401 of whom voted for Trump. The report highlighted that most of Trump’s voters support an international agreement to limit climate warming. Only less than a third do not want to see it happen. When it comes to pollution regulation and a carbon tax, the majority of his supporters are also on board. Sixty-two percent support taxing and/or regulating pollution that exacerbates climate change. Unsurprisingly, 77 percent support renewable energy generation on public land. However, as the report clarifies, nearly the same amount (72 percent) support fossil fuel drilling and mining.

The sample included a nearly equal number of men and women and featured all age groups and education levels. Survey takers were disproportionately White and from the South.

In a break from the scientific community’s views on the topic, an October 2016 Pew Research Center study showed that Trump voters tend to believe climate change results from “natural patterns” instead of human actions (like pollution).

Addressing climate change is also priority for Latinx voters across party lines. Sixty-two percent of Republican Latinx voters said it is “at least somewhat important to address climate change,” according to a December 2016 survey by Latino Decisions, a Latinx-focused political research group. Overall, nearly 90 percent of Latinx voters believe this, while 38 percent feel it is “extremely important” for the “next President and new Congress [to] take steps to pass legislation to aggressively combat global warming or climate change.”

The numbers are comparable for Black Americans: 83 percent support regulating carbon pollution from coal- and gas-fired power plants, according to a 2015 poll the Natural Resources Defense Council released. Sixty-seven percent said that the U.S. should take action to combat climate change. Though research is scarce on Asian-Americans and climate change, a 2012 National Asian American Survey found that 71 percent of Asian-Americans consider themselves environmentalists.

Trump’s anti-climate policies don’t appear to be what his constituents want, but it’s certainly in line with his cabinet. Former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson is his secretary of state and EPA administrator nominee Scott Pruitt has worked with the fossil fuel industry to sue the EPA in the past.