Center for Environmental Studies at Florida Atlantic University
Belief in climate change among Florida Republicans has climbed to nearly 9 out of 10 adults, apparently trending upwards, according to a new analysis of five sequenced surveys since 2019 conducted by researchers at Florida Atlantic University.
The climate change issue may therefore no longer be an effective campaign trail theme for the state’s party leaders as both parties gear up for the midterm elections.
- Belief in any type of climate change (i.e., human-caused and natural) has reached its highest point amongst Floridians (92%), outpacing the national average belief in global warming by nearly 20 percentage points (Yale CCAM 2020; 72%; Answered: “Yes” to “Do you think that global warming is happening?” in 2020).
- When broken out by political party, belief in climate change was found to be highest among Democrats (96%), and lowest amongst Republicans (88%). However, Florida Republicans still find themselves much higher than their national-level counterparts (Yale CCAM 2018; 52%; Republicans Answered: “Yes” to “Do you think that global warming is happening?” in Dec. 2018).
- Floridians maintained the highest level of belief in human-caused climate change (60%) when compared to other national surveys, such as Pew Research Center’s (PRC 2020) “human activity contributes a great deal to climate change” (49%) or Yale CCAM 2020 “Global warming is caused mostly by human activities” (57%).
- When Florida Republicans are viewed across age groups and asked about human-caused climate change, the youngest Republicans (ages 18-34) find themselves moving to believe more and more in human-caused climate change (65%). Older Florida Republicans (50+) are more skeptical, with less than half believing the same (35%).
- Both concern about climate change’s impact on future generations (74%), as well as support for teaching about the consequences of climate change in school (72%), reached all-time highs among Floridians.
- Concerns regarding natural climate hazard events have also reached their highest points, with Floridians being either moderately or extremely concerned most about losing access to clean drinking water (78%), the health of Florida’s natural environment (74%), and concern about stronger hurricanes and storm surge (both 67%).
- Solar energy remains the most supported of all the future energy options, holding a significant advantage throughout all survey waves and reaching a high point most recently at 56% support. The closest energy source after solar was natural gas at 14%.
The latest of the five surveys was conducted in English from Sept. 1-18, by the Center for Environmental Studies at Florida Atlantic University. The sample consisted of 1,400 Floridians, age 18 and older, with a margin of error of +/- 2.62 percent.
The data was collected using an online panel provided by GreatBlue Research. Responses for the entire sample were weighted to adjust for age, race, income, education and gender according to the 2019 American Community Survey from the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
It is important to remember that subsets carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. FAU’s Business & Economics Polling Initiative assisted with data collection for the first four surveys.
“The Invading Sea” is the opinion arm of the Florida Climate Reporting Network, a collaborative of news organizations across the state focusing on the threats posed by the warming climate.