Alexander C. Kaufman, Huffpost
That’s a popular idea that 46 percent of Americans support, according to an April survey by Rasmussen Reports. But new polling shows a guaranteed jobs policy is even more popular when the jobs would focus on “scaling up renewable energy, weatherizing homes and office buildings, developing mass transit projects, and maintaining green community spaces” ― even among those who voted for President Donald Trump in 2016.
The survey ― commissioned by the left-leaning think tank Data for Progress and the advocacy groups Sunrise Movement and 350 Action and shared with HuffPost ― found 55 percent of eligible American voters support federal funding for guaranteed employment. But the percentage of voters who opposed the policy decreased from 23 percent to 18 percent when those guaranteed jobs are green.
Trump voters in particular viewed a green jobs guarantee more favorably, with 35 percent in support and 36 percent opposed. By comparison, just 30 percent of Trump voters supported a guaranteed job without an environmental focus, while 45 percent opposed.
Making the guaranteed jobs green garnered strong support across all regions of the country. In cities, 45 percent of respondents said they supported a green job guarantee, compared to 43 percent who were in favor of a less specific jobs guarantee. In rural districts, 35 percent favored a green job guarantee, while 31 percent supported one for regular jobs. In the suburbs, 33 percent were for green jobs versus 25 percent for a jobs guarantee.
Alexander C. Kaufman, Huffpost
The data showed similar support for strengthening enforcement of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, even if it meant fewer U.S. jobs. Fifty percent of Obama-and-Trump voters said they would back such regulations, a number that rose to 77 percent among voters who picked Obama and then sat out the 2016 election, and 83 percent for Obama-and-Clinton voters.
Sean McElwee, the co-founder of Data for Progress, said preliminary analysis of as-yet-unreleased polling his group plans to publish in the coming weeks “suggests a green jobs guarantee may be more popular than a jobs guarantee in general.”
“Look, we know guaranteed jobs are popular, and we know that green issues are popular,” he said by phone Friday. “It makes sense that putting them together would also be popular.”
Zeeshan Aleem, Vice
The key to making climate an issue everyone cares about, climate policy experts say, is to connect it to people’s lives—make it tangible and offer a positive vision of the future to the public. Both Weber and Noisecat say that a “Green New Deal” —a term that’s being used by rising democratic socialists like New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—is the most promising frame for tackling climate change. The idea is to move away from austere-sounding rhetoric about cutting emissions and instead talk about how a more sustainable economy can offer opportunity to all.
There are even indications that the federal jobs guarantee programs that some 2020 contenders are eyeing could be fused with a Green New Deal program. According to new polling data from Data for Progress and the Sunrise Movement, a green jobs guarantee appears slightly more popular among both Trump and Hillary Clinton voters than a non-green jobs guarantee.