POLL INDICATES VOTER SUPPORT FOR A
June 2, 2000
Nevada -- Nevada voters are extremely concerned about clean
water and air, and 84 percent say that environmental issues
play a role in how they make their voting decision, according
to a statewide poll released today.
Greenberg Quinlan Research, Inc. polled 600 Nevadans likely
to vote in the 2000 election and found that voters in all
parts of the state and across party lines have a strong
commitment to environmental protection. The poll was conducted
between February 29 and March 5, 2000 for the League of
Conservation Voters Education Fund.
"For the first time, a comprehensive statewide
poll on environmental issues has been conducted in Nevada
and the results show that Nevada is greener than expected,"
said Kaitlin Backlund, Executive Director of Citizen Alert.
Support for stronger environmental protection was wide
spread across many key issues such as clean water and air,
wilderness protection, the proposed nuclear waste repository
at Yucca Mountain, urban sprawl, and toxic pollution. Concern
about clean water and air (61 percent) falls below concern
about crime and drugs (75 percent) and education (70 percent)
but ranks significantly ahead of taxes (54 percent).
"Nevadans clearly oppose pollution of our water
and air. Policy makers need to reflect this broad based
concern and address the industries that contribute to toxic
pollution," said Tom Myers, Director of Great Basin
The majority of Nevadans do not believe that there must
be a trade-off between the environment and the economy.
Of those who do believe there is a trade-off, a greater
number of voters would choose the environment over the economy.
"This poll clearly shows that Nevadans understand
the relationship between a healthy environment and a healthy
economy," said Matt Holford, Executive Director of
Nevada Trout Unlimited. "The fact is that Nevadans
believe that clean water and healthy ecosystems can go hand
in hand with improved local economies and quality of life.
It's high time Nevada's lawmakers listen to the people and
make natural resource protection a top policy priority."
Although more Nevadans believe that government generally
does the right thing rather than the wrong thing on the
environment, 70 percent of voters believe that the laws
protecting the environment are either not strong enough
or are not being enforced.
"Contrary to what many of our legislators believe,
Nevadans want more environmental protection and enforcement,
not less," said Marge Sill, of the Toiyabe Chapter
of Sierra Club. "I think we will see the environment
take center stage in the public policy debate, from the
protection of public lands in Nevada to urban sprawl to
Highlights of the poll include:
- Voters in Nevada are nearly
unanimous (84 percent) in saying that environmental issues
are an important consideration in making a voting decision.
- When given a choice, more
than 7 in 10 voters (71 percent) say they would favor
a candidate who would act in the best interests of the
environment over a candidate who would reduce the regulatory
burden on business.
- Clean air and water is in
the top tier of issues that Nevada’s voters are concerned
about. When thinking about the future, 61 percent of
voters are extremely concerned about clean air and water.
While this falls behind crime and drugs (75 percent) and
education (70 percent), it ranks significantly ahead of
taxes (54 percent).
- The overwhelming majority
of Nevadans (68 percent) do not believe that there has
to be a tradeoff between the environment and the economy.
Among those who do believe there is a tradeoff, a greater
number of likely voters would choose a clean environment
over a strong economy (48 percent environment - 45 percent
- Nevadans want more environmental
protection, not less. Slightly more Nevadans believe
that government generally does the right thing rather
than the wrong thing on the environment (48 percent right
thing, 36 percent wrong thing). However, 70 percent of
voters believe that the laws protecting the environment
are either not strong enough or are not being enforced
- Nevada’s voters are sensitive
to special interest money influencing elected official
to vote against environmental protections. Eighty percent
of voters think that campaign contributions influence
how elected officials vote on environmental issues. More
voters than not (36 - 25 percent) think that contributions
usually work against environmental protections.
- Nevadans are particularly
concerned about the quality and quantity of water in their
dry state, and they are also concerned about toxic chemicals,
the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility and
- When deciding whether the
government should protect federally owned land for environmental
and recreational purposes or whether government should
allow for economic development, 64 percent of Nevadans
support protection while 24 percent support economic development.
The telephone survey of 601 registered Nevada voters likely
to vote in the 2000 election was commissioned by LCVEF and
conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Research, Inc. The survey
was conducted between February 29 - March 5, 2000. A random
sample of this type is likely to yield a margin of error
of +/- 4 percent.