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Climate Change Barely Registers Among Americans’ List of Top Concerns, Gallup Poll Shows

Just 1 percent of Americans surveyed identified the combined category of “Climate change/Environment/Pollution” as “the most important problem facing this country today,” in a newly released Gallup poll.

Coronavirus the Top Concern

The Wuhan Coronavirus remained the top concern among the 1007 adults polled by Gallup between July 1 and July 23, with 30 percent of those surveyed identifying it as “the most important problem facing the country today.” “Government/Poor Leadership,” came in a distant second among the list of concerns, with 23 percent of respondents saying it is the top problem facing the nation.

All economic problems combined were identified by 9 percent of those polled as the most important problem facing the country, with 4 percent saying the “Economy in general” is the top problem and 2 percent saying “Unemployment/Jobs” is the nation’s top concern.

With protests and riots continuing to plague parts of the county, “Race Relations/Racism” ranked as the third most important problem facing the country, with 16 percent of respondents listing it as such. This represents a significant increase in concern about race relations since April, at which time only 1 percent those polled said it was America’s top problem.

Climate Ties for Last

Only 1 percent of those polled identified all environmental issues combined, including climate change, as the most important problem facing the country.

This result indicates strong disagreement with Democrat Party leaders who regularly refer to climate change as the most dangerous threat facing the United States and the world, and with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who said, “There’s no more consequential challenge that we must meet in the next decade than the onrushing climate crisis,” when presenting his Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice.

Five percent of poll respondents ranked “Crime/Violence” as the nation’s most important problem, 3 percent cited the “Judicial System/Courts/Laws,” and 2 percent said “Ethics/Morals/Religious/Family Decline,” “Lack of respect for each other,” “The media,” or “Healthcare” is the most important problem facing the country, ahead of environmental problems in general and climate change in particular.

Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. (hsburnett@heartland.org) is a senior fellow at The Heartland Institute.

H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a Heartland senior fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.

3 COMMENTS

  1. If either of the campaigns can manage to focus on issues and actual policy prescriptions, I think they (and the electorate) would be better served. So far, looks like it’ll be the usual “attack mode” from both parties which will not get the public engaged. If this is potentially a “transformational” election like both candidates seem to claim, it would appear it’s time (then) to rise to the occasion…

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