Attempting to pass the so-called Green New Deal in Congress could hold political peril for the Democratic Party in 2020, a new IBD/TIPP Poll suggests.
Partisan Divide Over Green New Deal
Among those queried by the poll, 43% said they would be "less likely to vote for" a candidate who supported the Green New Deal, or GND. Just 30% said they would be "more likely" to do so. Another 25% said it wouldn't affect their decision.
Not surprisingly, a sharp partisan split exists among those who took part in the poll.
"Americans divide on party lines when it comes to the Green New Deal," said Raghavan Mayur, president of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, which conducted the poll.
"Democrats and Republicans are diametrically opposite on what they believe will be the impact of the Green New Deal on jobs," he said. "Democrats believe it will help job creation, while Republicans think it will hurt. While it may perk up support of Democratic candidates who favor it, overall it may hurt. Independents are more likely to view Green New Deal candidates in an unfavorable light."
The numbers tell the story. Among Republicans, 77% said they'd be less likely to vote for a Green New Deal supporter. Just 3% said it would make them more likely to vote for the candidate. Meanwhile, 56% of Democrats said they'd be more likely to vote for a GND supporter, versus just 7% who said they wouldn't. Among independents, who now make up more than a third of the electorate, 41% said they would be less likely to vote for a Green New Deal candidate, versus 35% that said they'd be more likely.
Green New Deal: Like WWII?
The poll of 909 adults nationwide took place from Feb. 21 to March 2. IBD/TIPP asked whether they would be more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate that supported the Democrats' New Green Deal. The IBD/TIPP Poll only counted responses from those who said they were following the New Green Deal "closely."
The far-reaching Green New Deal resolution released by Democrats calls for a "new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal."
Its key element promises a transition to "clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources" in just 10 years, along with getting rid of all greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, manufacturing and farming. It would also seek to upgrade all buildings for "maximal energy efficiency." Just as important, it vows to provide jobs and health care for all.
But a plurality of those answering the IBD/TIPP Poll — 43% — said the Green New Deal plan would lose jobs, while 36% said it would create jobs. Again, the partisan split was stark: 79% of Republicans thought GND would lose jobs. Only 9% thought it would create them. Among Democrats, just 7% thought it would lose jobs, versus 61% who thought it would create them. As usual, independents stood somewhere in the middle: 39% said it would lose jobs, but a slim plurality of 42% said it would create them.
A significant share also questioned the intent behind the Green New Deal. Some 37% agreed that "the proposal is really ... aimed at placing private industry and production under government control," not combating climate change. A slight plurality, 39%, disagreed, including 22% of Republicans, 45% of independents and 53% of Democrats.
Green New Deal Cost Criticisms
The Green New Deal has come in for harsh criticisms over both cost and the sweeping nature of its regulations and taxes. The American Action Forum (AAF), which is headed by former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, estimated a total cost of between $51 trillion and $93 trillion over 10 years.
Placed in context, the CBO has estimated that total government spending over the next decade will be roughly $57.82 trillion, with government taking an amount roughly equal to 22% of total estimated GDP during that time. The Green New Deal could raise the government's share of the economy to as much as 57% and require an increase in taxes of 160%.
However, Green New Deal supporters say that climate change is such a grave threat that extraordinary measures must be taken, regardless of the cost.
As of yet, there is only a resolution to support a New Green Deal, but no actual legislation with details. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has signaled little enthusiasm for pushing forward with the idea.
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