Surprise! Obama Pollster Finds Americans Want New Climate Change Laws

Dems and Independents want action, Republicans not so much

By SHARE
 President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013.
President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013.

A new poll appears to bolster President Obama's argument that Americans favor immediate action on climate change.

Sixty-five percent of voters say they support "the president taking significant steps to address climate change now." This includes 89 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of independents, and 38 percent of Republicans.

[ALSO: GOP Wants More Details About State of the Union Address]

The poll also finds that 93 percent of Americans agree that they have a "moral obligation to future generations to leave them a planet that is not polluted or damaged," says Joel Benenson, who conducted the survey for the League of Conservation Voters. Benenson is also President Obama's chief pollster.

Benenson told reporters in a conference call Wednesday that voters believe Obama is taking a "common sense" approach to climate change. And 61 percent of Americans say climate change is already affecting them personally now or will affect them in their lifetimes as many link climate change to extreme weather such as snowstorms, hurricanes, floods, drought, and wildfires.

[PHOTOS: Obama's 2013 State of the Union Address]

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama called on Congress to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and he added: "If Congress won't act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take now and in the future to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy."

More News:

  • Obama Issues Cybersecurity Executive Order
  • Newman: Many of Obama's New Economic Ideas Won't Pass
  • The U.S. News State of the Union Live Blog
  • Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" for usnews.com, and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at kwalsh@usnews.com and followed on Facebook and Twitter.