PRES PREVAILING W/PUBLIC ON PIPELINE
Recent Swing State Polling On The Keystone XL Pipeline
Geoff Garin and Allan Rivlin, February 3, 2012 (Hart Research Associates)
"…Seven in nine voters [in four key battleground states, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, and Colorado] now say they have heard or read about the controversy involving the Keystone XL pipeline, and despite a sustained ad campaign by the oil industry in several of these states, President Obama continues to hold the high ground over the Republicans in Congress on both jobs and energy. By 45% to 38%, voters in these battleground states trust Obama over congressional Republicans on addressing America’s energy needs. Similarly, President Obama holds an advantage of 44% to 39% on promoting jobs.
"…Before hearing any arguments…32% say Obama made the right decision in this matter, 43% said he made the wrong decision, and 25% have no opinion or are undecided…After hearing pro and con arguments…47% conclude that Obama’s decision was the right one, and 36% say it was the wrong one; 17% still have no opinion…'
click to enlarge
'The most effective arguments in moving voters to support the President and oppose the pipeline involve the risk of a toxic oil spill over an aquifer that provides fresh water and water for farming to one-third of the United States—a concern that is compounded by questions about TransCanada’s safety record and the number of spills that have occurred in the first year of the Keystone One pipeline. Under these circumstances, there is broad concurrence that the President should not give the project a go ahead until he is satisfied that the project will not be dangerous or lead to an environmental and economic disaster.
"…There also is a sharp decline in the salience of the proponents’ case regarding its impact on America’s energy security, as voters learn the likelihood of the refined oil being shipped off for export…[M]ore than three-quarters of voters oppose building the pipeline if there is not a requirement for all of the oil to stay in the United States…[and there is significant mistrust of both the oil industry and the Republicans in Congress…"