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Poll shows climate, clean energy are mobilizing issues in 2021 governor’s race

virginia election
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Polling conducted by Global Strategies Group on behalf of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters finds that climate change,  clean energy and the environment are important issues in mobilizing swing voters in the 2021 elections.

“This poll reinforces the fact that Virginia voters care about clean air and a healthy environment, and they expect their leaders to act instead of ignoring science,” said Michael Town, executive director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters. “We’ve already seen this play out in the 2017 and 2019 electoral cycles as we secured Virginia’s first-ever Conservation Majority, which delivered on key environmental priorities. It’s clear that voters want to see us continue this vital work.”

Among the poll’s findings:

  • Virginia LCV-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe leads his opponent Glenn Youngkin by five points in this race, with room to grow his lead in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.
  • Sixty-three percent of voters statewide have a favorable view of actions that cut climate-disrupting carbon emissions; support for climate action is even higher among swing and motivation targets.
  • Nearly 60 percent of voters support the landmark Virginia Clean Economy Act after hearing both arguments for and against this effort to push Virginia to 100 percent clean electricity, with support again being higher with important swing and motivation targets.
  • After learning more about Virginia Republicans’ poor record on climate action and environmental protection, McAuliffe’s lead in this race doubled to 10 points over his rival, driven by a big uptick in voter-rich Northern Virginia.

There is substantial daylight between McAuliffe and Youngkin on issues of climate action and clean energy. While McAuliffe would stay the course on addressing climate change and creating more jobs in our fastest growing job sector – clean energy – Youngkin is already on the record opposing Virginia’s efforts to expand clean energy and address climate change, championing instead a misguided push to continue the combustion of fossil fuels as part of our long-term energy mix, a position not all that surprising from a candidate whose private sector experience involved deep ties to the fossil fuel industry.

While serving as an executive of Carlyle Group, Youngkin’s firm invested in five of the nation’s 20 largest oil and gas producers, and he personally pitched investors on a $4 billion fund to further deepen Carlyle’s investments in the same energy sources already disrupting our climate.

More information about Virginia LCV’s electoral and endorsement efforts is available at www.valcvpac.org.