Though Democratic senators pulled an all-night session Monday evening through early Tuesday morning talking about climate change, a new Gallup poll suggests they should be more concerned about the political climate.
Most of the issues people worried “a great deal” about are matters that could help Republicans in the 2014 midterm elections. At least twice as many people were concerned about the spending, deficits and the size of government as the number worried about climate change, which ranked 14 out of 15 for issues listed in the survey.
The survey of 516 adults was conducted March 6-9, before the Democrats’ all-night Senate “talk-a-thon.”
While 28 senators spoke about the dangers to the planet on the Senate floor, just 24 percent of Americans said they worry about climate change a great deal.
More than twice as many – a 51 percent majority of respondents – said they were “a little/not at all” concerned about climate change. Another 25 percent said they worry a “fair amount” about it.
The issue doesn’t even alarm Democrats, with just 36 percent of Democrats sampled who said they care. That’s still more than triple the 10 percent of Republicans who said they were concerned.
The economy was the highest ranking issue, with 59 percent saying they worry a “great deal” about it. That’s closely followed by 58 percent who said they feel that way about federal spending and budget deficits, and 57 who have that level of concern about the “availability of affordable health care.”
In the next tier of concerns, 49 percent said they worry a “great deal” about unemployment, while 48 percent shared that level of concern over the size and power of the federal government. The Social Security system worried 46 percent a “great deal,” while hunger and homelessness worried 43 percent a “great deal.”
Six other issues received fewer than 40 percent of great concern. The only issues that ranked lower than climate change is race relations, in which 17 percent said they worry a “great deal.”
In a separate Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, President Barack Obama had a 41 percent approval rating. The only good news from the poll for Democrats is that even fewer – about a quarter of voters – view Republicans in a positive light.