The Political Case For Green Jobs

By Sean mcelwee, Data for Progress 

Key Findings:

  • A green jobs guarantee is more popular than a jobs guarantee without green framing.

  • Among Trump voters, a job guarantee has net -15 support, while a green job guarantee has -1 support.

  • Green job creation performs well across a range of geographies.

  • Young people report being more likely to support a candidate who supports a green job guarantee and clean energy.

  • Low enthusiasm voters report that they would be more supportive of candidates in favor of green jobs and clean energy.

Green Jobs Can Help Progressives Win Traditionally Unsupportive Voters

We asked two policy questions about a job guarantee. Respondents were asked:

green1.png
  • Would you support or oppose giving every American who wants one a job scaling up renewable energy, weatherizing homes and office buildings, developing mass transit projects, and maintaining green community spaces?

  • Would you support or oppose the federal funding of community job creation for any person who can't find a job?

We find that both questions elicited the same level of support, at fifty-five percent. However, the green jobs framing elicited less opposition: 23 percent opposed the non-green framing, while 18 percent opposed the green framing.

In addition, we asked respondents whether they would be more supportive or less supportive of candidates who support green policies.

  • Would you be more or less likely to support a candidate for office who supports moving the United States to 100% renewable energy by 2030?

  • Would you be more or less likely to support a candidate for office who supports a jobs guarantee to address the economy, inequality, and climate change by offering every American who wants one a job expanding renewable energy, mass transit, efficient buildings, community green spaces, and resilient infrastructure?

green2.png

Digging in, we find that the green framing elicited far less opposition from Donald Trump voters. Thirty-five percent of Trump voters supported green jobs and 36 percent opposed, while 30 percent supported the community job creation compared with 45 percent opposed. In addition, the green jobs creation question garnered net support among non-voters.

Across geographies, environmental jobs garnered consistently high support. It performed better than community jobs among suburban and urban voters.

 

Green Jobs Can Mobilize Voters

Notably, we find that voters are more likely to support candidates running on these issues than be less likely to support them. Fifty-one percent of voting eligible adults said they would be more likely to support a candidate running on a green job guarantee (with only 20 percent opposed). Forty-eight percent of voting eligible adults said they would be more likely to support a candidate who was running on 100% renewable energy by 2030. Notably, this is significantly faster than even the most progressive legislation currently in Congress.

green3.png
green4.png

Young people are far more likely to support a candidate running on 100% renewable energy and green jobs. More than half of individuals under 30 said they would be more supportive of a candidate running on clean energy or green jobs with only 15 percent saying 100% renewables would make them less likely and 10 percent saying the same about green jobs.

Among Democrats, 66 percent of “somewhat enthusiastic” individuals said a 100% clean energy candidate would make them more likely to vote for them (only 8 percent said “less” likely). For a green job candidate, those shares were 65 percent and 6 percent respectively. Among all voting eligible adults, 46 percent of somewhat enthusiastic voters said they would be more likely to support a clean energy candidate (17 percent said less likely). Among all voting eligible adults, 53 percent said they would be more likely to support a green jobs candidate, with only 15 saying they would be less likely.

 


Methodology:

Data for Progress commissioned polling on major progressive policies with YouGov Blue. The survey, fielded between July 13 and 16, included 1,515 eligible voters and is weighted to be nationally representative. The survey included a series of questions on green jobs, available here.