No, Florida Voters Are Not Very Worried About Climate Change

The corporate media this week are trumpeting a biased push poll from Saint Leo University claiming a majority of Floridians are worried about climate change. In reality, a vast majority of Floridians are somewhere between “not at all concerned” about climate change and merely “somewhat concerned” about climate change. Even Saint Leo’s poll finds only 39 percent of Floridians are “very concerned.”

For context, national polls continue to show an even split between people who are “not very concerned” or “not at all concerned” about climate change versus people who are “very concerned” about climate change. For example, a Nov. 1 New York Times poll found 39 percent of voters nationally are either “not very” or “not at all” concerned about climate change, versus just 37 percent who are “very” concerned. The rest were merely “somewhat concerned.” Similarly, a December 2020 Rasmussen poll – commissioned by The Heartland Institute – found similar results. Even Saint Leo reports only 37 percent of people nationally are “very concerned” about climate change.

The Saint Leo poll did not list how it weighted Republican and Democrat poll respondents in Florida. Even if we assume for the sake of argument that the push-poll was properly weighted, Saint Leo reports merely 39 percent of Floridians are “very concerned.” Despite this, the Saint Leo press release announcing its poll results is titled, “Florida Residents Continue to Worry About Climate Change and Various Effects, Saint Leo University Survey Shows.” Well, I guess so, if you mean “Some” Florida residents or “A minority of” Florida residents continue to worry.

Spurred on by Saint Leo’s sensationalism, several Florida media outlets even more inaccurately reported the poll results:

The Islander News (Key Biscayne) published an article titled, “Floridians are more worried about climate change than most Americans, new study finds.” – Well, yeah, by a measly 2 percentage points, which is well within the margins of error.

The Florida Phoenix similarly published an article titled, “New Survey: Floridians are more worried about climate change than most Americans.”

In reality, most Floridians, like most Americans, are not very concerned about climate change. Neither are Floridians more concerned about climate change than most Americans. Push polls and biased media stories claiming anything different are poorly disguised attempts to bully or induce Florida policymakers to cater to the minority Climate Left out of raw political fear. Florida policymakers should trust climate realism and their own political instincts, instead.

James Taylor
James Taylor
James Taylor is the President of the Heartland Institute. Taylor is also director of Heartland's Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy. Taylor is the former managing editor (2001-2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism.

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  1. Most Floridians are savvy enough to NOT be concerned about climate change/global warming anywhere!! It’s the mantra they’re tired of hearing.


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