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Poll: Majority of U.S. Voters Call Climate Change an 'Emergency'

As Florida prepares for another hurricane, a majority of registered voters nationwide say climate change is an emergency, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll. (12019/Pixabay)
As Florida prepares for another hurricane, a majority of registered voters nationwide say climate change is an emergency, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll. (12019/Pixabay)
August 30, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa – A hurricane bearing down on Florida and massive fires in the Amazon rainforest are stark reminders about the changing climate, but a new poll shows party affiliation plays a large role in whether Americans think climate change is an emergency.

Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Mary Snow says 56% of registered voters nationwide believe climate change is an emergency, and 67% think the U.S. should be doing more to address the issue.

"Not everyone, though, is feeling the sense of urgency,” says Snow. “Democrats: 84% say it's an emergency, Independents 63% – but 81% of Republicans say it's not an emergency."

Snow says almost three-quarters of young people ages 18 to 34 told pollsters they believe climate change is an emergency.

The poll was released on the same day President Donald Trump announced plans to roll back regulations on the emission of methane, a major contributor to climate change.

The poll also asked Americans about gun laws and mass shootings. Snow says almost three-quarters of U.S. voters think Congress should do more to reduce gun violence, including 93% of Democrats, three-quarters of Independents and 50% of Republicans.

"In terms of how people feel about gun laws, 60% say they support stricter gun laws,” says Snow. “Sixty percent, the exact same number, say they support a ban on assault weapons."

Race relations was also a topic of the poll, with results showing that a majority of voters believe the level of hatred and prejudice in the United States has increased since the 2016 election. Poll respondents said Muslims, Hispanics and Latinos experience the most prejudice, followed by African Americans.

The poll surveyed about 1,400 registered voters from Aug. 21-26.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - IA