5th national poll shows voters trust Biden more than Trump on climate

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After weeks of wildfires, hurricanes, and flooding, voters are looking for a candidate with 'a bold plan to address climate change,' one poll director said.

Five national polls show that a majority of voters trust former Vice President Joe Biden more than Donald Trump to address the looming threat of climate change.

Key findings in a poll released last week showed that 55% of voters in eight battleground states trust Biden to address climate change, compared to 38% of voters who trust Trump. The Public Policy Polling Group and Climate Power 2020 surveyed 896 voters in Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. The poll also found that voters prefer Biden’s recent statements on climate change over the president's by a margin of 55% to 28%.

"The divide of battleground state voters’ views on Trump’s science denial versus Biden's embrace of climate change and science is striking," Jim Williams of Public Policy Polling said in a news release. "A 27-point margin on any issue is quite unusual and shows that taking on climate can have a real impact on voters and that Donald Trump’s science denial is a real vulnerability for him."

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Data from four other national polls confirm that most voters do not trust Trump to confront the threat of climate change. A USC Dornsife Daybreak poll released last week found that voters favored Biden over Trump by a 26-point margin to best handle climate change. This margin is the largest out of all the nine issues polled.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released this month showed that voters said Biden would be better than Trump on dealing with climate change, with a margin of 58% to 19%. The margin advantage was also the largest out of the nine issued polled.

A Morning Consult and Politico poll conducted late last month showed that voters trusted Biden over Trump to handle environmental issues by a margin of 53% to 31%, which is the largest margin of all 17 issues surveyed. 

A Data for Progress survey released in August showed a majority of voters trust Biden over Trump to handle climate change, with a 60% to 40% margin — the largest margin out of 11 issues polled. The Data for Progress poll also found that just over half of voters trust Biden to take action to solve climate change, compared to 30% of voters who trust Trump.

Two-thirds of battleground states voters believe that addressing climate change must be a priority for the next president, according to the PPP/Climate Power 2020 poll, while 77% of independent voters said addressing climate change must be a priority.

"Following weeks of climate fires, hurricanes, and severe flooding, voters understand that the climate crisis is here and that it’s making these extreme weather events worse," Climate Power 2020 Executive Director Lori Lodes said in a news release. "In the final push to November, voters are looking for candidates who not only believe in science but also have a bold plan to address climate change."

Earlier this month, as record-setting wildfires ravaged the state of California, state Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot urged the president to recognize the threat climate change poses to the environment. "I don't think science knows, actually," Trump responded.

Biden has sharply criticized Trump for his denial, calling his opponent a "climate arsonist."

"Donald Trump's climate denial may not have caused these fires and hurricanes," Biden said in a speech last week. "But if he gets a second term, these hellish events will continue to become more common and more devastating and more deadly."

Climate change isn't the only issue that American voters don't trust Trump to handle. In the wake of protests against racial injustice, the issue of race relations has come to the forefront of voters’ minds. 

The Morning Consult and Politico poll showed that voters trust Biden over Trump to handle race relations, 52% to 35%. Data for Progress' poll found the same results, with a margin of 58% to 42%. The USC Dornsife Daybreak poll showed a 22-point trust advantage in favor of Biden over Trump to unite the country and heal racial divisions. 

As the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus surpasses 200,000 people, polls show that voters trust Biden over Trump to handle the pandemic that has devastated the country. 

The Morning Consult and Politico poll showed that 49% of voters trust Biden over Trump to contain the coronavirus. The Data for Progress poll showed 55% of voters trust Biden over Trump to handle the pandemic. Meanwhile, the USC Dornsife Daybreak poll showed Biden having a 14-point margin of trust advantage among voters to manage the Covid-19 response. 

Health care continues to remain a major issue among voters. The Morning Consult and Politico survey found that voters trust Biden (52%) over Trump (35%) to tackle health care. Data for Progress' poll showed the same trend, with a margin of 57% to 43% of voters trusting Biden over Trump on health care. And the USC Dornsife Daybreak poll showed a 10-point trust advantage for Biden over Trump on the same issue.

Trump still supports a GOP-led lawsuit that seeks to eliminate the Affordable Care Act amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the case one week after Election Day. With the recent death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the fate of the ACA could be at stake. 

In the USC Dornsife poll, the only top issue in which Trump had a trust advantage — a slim, 4-point margin over Biden — was on the jobs and the economy.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.