Reading the polls is a perilous business for an enviro in this country, because Americans who talk to pollsters say they rate protecting the environment highly, but frequently fail to back up that concern with their votes. According to a recent CBS/NY Times poll, nearly three-quarters of the country believes in global warming, and respondents told the pollsters that "environmental improvements must be made regardless of cost." But this year when it came to voting, voters almost always put the planet at the bottom of their list of priorities. In many polls taken last month, the environment didn’t make the list at all, and topped out at at a mere two percent, far below the percentages concerned about the war in Iraq, terrorism, Social Security, or even same-sex marriage.
But when it comes to puzzling out the motivations of the American voter, the polls still offer the best available clues…and some of these clues look promising for enviros this year. For more, please see this post on Grist.