STATE BY STATE
Since elected officials are primarily responsible for and to their constituents, understanding public opinion on global warming on a state by state basis is useful. Such data may help elected officials to be responsive to their electorates.
Dr. Krosnick presented these findings to Congressional representatives in the video below:
To generate the state-level data, this project combined results of PPRG national surveys conducted during two decades. This large data set provided sufficient data to estimate public opinion in 46 states. The methodology made statistical adjustments to account for differences in survey methodologies and changes in public opinion over time.
This page illustrates public opinion on global warming by state through colored maps for a handful of survey questions.
Note: States colored gray in the maps below were those in which too few respondents were interviewed to permit calculating reliable statistics at the state level.
Please click on the maps below to view a larger version of each.
Below are the results for each state on key questions regarding global warming:
- In every state, a majority of residents believe that global warming has been happening. In a handful of states, the majority was over 85%.
- A majority of residents in every state believe that global warming will continue to happen in the future.
- In every state, at least 65% of residents believe that past warming has been caused at least partly by humans, with most states having a majority of over 70% holding this belief.
- In all states, a majority of residents believe that global warming will be a serious problem for the U.S..
- In all states, a majority of residents believe that global warming will be a serious problem for the world.
- The global warming “issue public” is the small group of people who are extremely passionate about the issue. This group is largest in New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Kentucky – all more than 15%. The smallest global warming issue publics are in Utah, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa, each with 5% or less.
- The proportion of people who said they are highly knowledgeable about global warming varied considerably across states. In most states, 50% or more of residents are highly knowledgeable,. In a handful of states (Idaho, Montana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, and West Virginia), less than half of residents are highly knowledgeable about global warming.
- The majority of residents of most states believe that the United States government should do more than it is doing to address global warming. Only a minority hold this opinion in Montana, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah.
- With the exception of Utah, a majority of residents of all other states believe that the United States should take action on global warming regardless of what other countries do. Kansas had the largest percentage of people holding this view (77%), while in Utah, only 48% of residents hold this view.
- A majority of residents of every state believe that the federal government should limit the greenhouse gas emissions generated by businesses. The largest majority was in Alabama (88%), and the smallest majority was in Louisiana (67%).
- The majority of residents of every state believe that the federal government should either require by law or encourage with tax breaks the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
- In every state, a majority of residents favor a national cap-and-trade program.
- The majority of residents of every state favor the federal government giving tax breaks to companies to produce more renewable energy.
- A majority of every state’s residents favor the federal government giving tax breaks to encourage companies to reduce air pollution from burning coal.
- A majority of residents of every state believe that the federal government should either require by law or encourage with tax breaks higher fuel efficiency for cars.
- With the exceptions of Utah, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama, a majority of residents of all other states believe that the federal government should require or encourage production of all-electric vehicles.
- A majority of residents of every state believe that the government should require or encourage production of more energy-efficient appliances.
- The majority of residents of all states believe that the federal government should require or encourage more energy-efficient buildings.
- A minority of residents of every state favors the federal government increasing consumption taxes on electricity.
- Only a minority in each state favors increased consumption taxes on gasoline.
- Tax breaks to encourage building nuclear power plants were not popular in most states. Only in Minnesota, Kentucky, and South Carolina did a majority favor this policy.
The state fact sheets below outline the results of the surveys conducted to generate measures of public opinion of global warming in each state: