Poll: Key Primary Voters Support Arctic Drilling, Say Energy is Important Issue in 2016 Race

Key Takeaways

  • Voters in Iowa and New Hampshire have a 20 point favorability of Arctic offshore energy production.
  • Energy will factor heavily in voters' analysis of presidential primary candidates.
  • No clear frontrunner in Republican primary race.
  • Hillary Clinton is the clear democratic frontrunner in Iowa and New Hampshire with 64% and 58% respectively.
  • Salience of energy issues is over 80% across all groups in both states.

Noble DiscovererContinuing the trend of energy policy as a key issue in nationwide elections, voters in Iowa and New Hampshire showed overwhelming support for U.S. energy leadership in Arctic offshore energy production.  The results show offshore energy policy is an important focus even for both Iowa and New Hampshire voters, just as Presidential candidates start canvassing the states.

A new poll by Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) shows Iowa voters support Arctic offshore energy production by a 20 point margin (52% support – 32% oppose). New Hampshire voters also support Arctic offshore energy production by a 19 point margin (54% support – 35% oppose). As the administrative process moves forward on offshore exploration in the Arctic, candidates will need to stake out a position on the issue in the upcoming primary season.

Importantly for candidates, more than 80 percent of both Iowa and New Hampshire voters say energy issues will be a key factor in how they make decisions in the 2016 presidential election. In Iowa, 34 percent say energy issues will be “very important” to their decision (Total important 84% – not important 13%). In New Hampshire, 37 percent say energy issues will be “very important” to their decision (Total important 86% – not important 13%). Consumer Energy Alliance found similar sentiments in key states prior to the 2014 elections.

 


 

The Beaufort Sea via Shutterstock

The results show voters are keenly aware of energy issues and the importance of those issues in a candidates policy platform. It also shows the direct connection that energy policy decisions have on the pocketbooks of average Americans. While lofty goals and heady policy prescriptions may be in the cards for some candidates, voters want to ensure stable and low prices for all forms of energy.

“Candidates for 2016 races will have to have a strong position on energy related issues in general and on Arctic exploration specifically,” said David Holt, President of Consumer Energy Alliance. “CEA’s research shows that support for a robust domestic energy policy that use all of America’s energy resources is key to a candidate’s chances of victory.  CEA’s poll shows that it will be difficult for any Presidential candidate to travel to Iowa or New Hampshire without a strong position on U.S. Arctic energy production.”

“The United States is in the initial stages of an Energy Revolution,” added Holt.  “Voters are pretty clear.  We should keep our economy moving forward through a robust energy program that includes Arctic development. This result also provides additional support to the recently released National Petroleum Council study that concluded the U.S. should pursue Arctic development to help maintain our energy self-sufficiency.”

The data show that Hillary Clinton is favored among Democratic caucus participants in both Iowa and New Hampshire. While no Republican candidate for President is yet a favorite in Iowa, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker are the current leaders in New Hampshire.