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21.4.04

Gallup Earth Day Poll

This recent poll from Gallup (link via WitchVox) has to be disappointing to environmentalists, especially after hearing what sounded like the first rumbles of an emerging conservative environmentalism. Americans are now about equally likely to say that the economy should take precedence over the environment as vice-versa, though the environment used to win by a healthy margin. The percent who worry about the environment is down from 77% three years ago to 62% today.

The bright side, though, is that Americans' views of the quality of the environment are nearly stable (with a slight trend toward pessimism). This suggests that people aren't losing interest in the environment so much as having their environmental concern eclipsed by other concerns, especially terrorism and the economy. The overall picture, then, is of a public dissatisfied with the status quo. While the Sierra Club may not like its agenda losing out in the struggle for attention, the forces pushing aside environmental concern may be good for John Kerry's chances.

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