Energy ‘more important’ than environment in presidential race – poll

New research suggests energy policies are ‘more important’ to voters than the environment when it comes to the US presidential race – especially as people get older. With the presidential […]

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By Vicky Ellis

New research suggests energy policies are ‘more important’ to voters than the environment when it comes to the US presidential race – especially as people get older.

With the presidential campaign in its final days the research gives potential insight into voters’ concerns – and will have been put into sharp perspective by the wave of power cuts caused by Hurricane Sandy this week.

US polling firm Harris Interactive surveyed 2,562 adults online between September 17 and 24.

For younger Americans aged between 18 and 35, there was a gap of only three per cent between the two issues – with 66% putting importance on energy policy while 63% said the environment was more important.

This gap grew “dramatically” in older age groups, to 10 percentage points among 36-47 year olds (74%-64%), 13 points among 48-66 year olds (83%-70%) and 16 points among those 67 and older (90%-74%).

The biggest issues influencing voting were economics or the budget (88%), tax (86%), jobs (86%) and healthcare (85%) policies.

Sarah Simmons, Harris Interactive Vice President and Senior Consultant said:  “Even after the election is over, energy will remain an important subject for Americans because it is also central to so many other policies, especially economic, jobs and environmental policies.”