A poll released Thursday by Quinnipiac University found that a majority of voters in Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia agree with Pope Francis that the world should increase efforts to combat the phenomenon, which scientists say is caused by carbon emissions. Those voters also overwhelmingly believe that climate change is caused by human activity, a fact that many Republican presidential candidates have so far been wary to address or accept.
Each of the three states’ voters agreed that climate action is needed by approximately 2-1 margins, with anywhere from 62 to 65 percent of voters agreeing and 25 to 31 percent disagreeing, depending on the state.
Those wide margins were largely decided by Democrats and politically independent voters, who agreed that climate action is important by wide margins in all three states. Democrats had particularly wide margins, with almost all self-identified Democrats saying that climate action should be a priority. In Colorado, 93 percent agreed, as did 90 percent of Iowa Democrats and 84 percent of Virginia Democrats.
But a good deal of Republicans also agreed with Pope Francis’ call to do more on climate. In all three swing states, Republicans disagreed that climate action is important, but by drastically closer margins than by which the Democrats agreed. In Iowa, only 44 percent of Republicans didn’t want action on climate change, while 40 percent did. Similarly, only 46 percent of Virginia Republicans disagreed, as did 53 percent of Colorado Republicans.
People hold a banner reading ‘ Climate action Now ‘ in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, June 28, 2015. Voters in key swing states like Iowa say they agree with Pope Francis about climate action.