According to a new poll conducted by Rasmussen, only 33% of Americans believe that Al Gore’s energy plan, switching all of the nation’s electricity production to wind, solar and other carbon-free sources in 10 years is realistic. Even Gore’s Democratic Party base, think that the only thing his plan will do is increase energy prices. It sounds as if more Americans believe in the Fictional South Park Al Gore’s Man-Bear-Pig than believe in his very real and very misguided energy plan. More Results Below
Only 33% of American voters believe Al Gore’s proposal to switch all of the nation’s electricity production to wind, solar and other carbon-free sources in 10 years is realistic. And, beyond the Democratic Party base, most voters think Gore’s plan will make energy prices go up. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey found that 62% of Republicans — and over half (52%) of unaffiliated voters — believe that Gore’s approach will drive the cost of energy even higher. Even among Democrats, 26% hold that view. Still, a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, taken Sunday night, also finds that 53% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the former vice president and 41% agree with his views on the environment and energy. The partisan divide is evident throughout these questions, with Democrats supportive of their unsuccessful 2000 presidential candidate and Republicans skeptical of him. Unaffiliated voters generally share the skepticism. Overall, 44% think Gore’s proposals would drive up the price of energy while just 26% believe they would have a more positive economic impact. In a speech last week in Washington, Gore compared his plan to landing a man on the moon and building the Interstate highway system. He said it would end global warming and the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. Right now, coal provides over half the nation’s electric power, while wind, solar and other renewable energy sources provide less than 10 percent. Gore told the Associated Press after his speech that only clean coal, which has yet to be fully developed, has a role in the county’s energy future, but he still sees one-fifth of the electrical supply coming from nuclear power plants. Also, the nation’s electric grid will need to be dramatically upgraded to include power from solar panels, windmills and dams, he said. An earlier Rasmussen Reports survey found that 47% of American adults say that Global Warming is a Very Serious problem and 31% consider Al Gore an expert on Global Warming. In terms of the upcoming presidential election, the new survey finds that 69% of potential voters for Democratic candidate Barack Obama agree with Gore’s views on energy and the environment, while 65% of likely voters for Republican John McCain disagree. When asked about Gore’s 10-year plan, the percentage of McCain voters who say it is not possible also stands at 65%, but the number of supportive Obama voters drops to 45%. In a previous Rasmussen Reports survey, voters split along party lines in their assessments of coal and oil after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, said their usage was making Americans sick. Republicans were overwhelmingly more supportive of the two energy sources, while Democrats were more evenly divided. Voters also generally favor the resumption of offshore oil drilling as one way to reduce the price of gas. Nearly half of voters believe reducing gas prices is the best way to help the staggering U.S. economy.
Fifty-one percent (51%) in the new survey say they were aware of Gore’s speech. Women and men disagree fairly dramatically on the feasibility of the plan and Gore’s overall views on the environment. While 57% of men feel achieving the carbon-free goal in 10 years is unrealistic, only 36% of women feel that way. Forty-five percent (45%) of men reject the former vice president’s views on the environment and energy issues, as opposed to 27% of women. Similarly, 66% of Democrats like Gore’s environmental positions, but the exact same percentage of Republicans don’t. Among unaffiliated voters, 37% agree with Gore, and 35% do not. Only 17% of Republicans have at least a somewhat favorable opinion of Gore himself, as opposed to 82% of Democrats. Fifty-four percent (54%) of unaffiliated voters view Gore favorably, but 43% don’t.
National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
Conducted July 20, 2008
By Rasmussen Reports
1* How closely have you followed news stories about Al Gore’s recent speech on the environment and energy issues?
22% Very closely
29% Somewhat closely
30% Not very closely
18% Not at all
2% Not sure
2* Generally speaking, do you agree or disagree with Al Gore’s views on the environment and energy issues?
24% Not sure
3* Gore challenged the nation to produce 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy and clean, carbon-free sources within 10 years. Is that a realistic goal?
21% Not sure
4* If Al Gore’s proposals were adopted by the nation, would the price of energy go up or down?
29% Not sure
5* Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable opinion of Al Gore?
23% Very favorable
30% Somewhat favorable
15% Somewhat unfavorable
28% Very unfavorable
4% Not sure
NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence