New Mexico voters rate environmental
issues a high priority and important part of voting decision
June 28, 2000
Albuquerque - New Mexico voters are extremely concerned
about water quality and quantity and 82 percent say that
environmental issues play a role in how they make their
voting decision, according to a statewide poll release today.
The Research and Polling, Inc. poll of 753 likely voters
in the 2000 election indicates a strong commitment to environmental
protection by voters. The poll was taken between February
2 -16, 2000 for the League of Conservation Voters Education
New Mexico voters want more environmental protection,
not less said Susan George, Director of Defenders of Wildlife.
The people of New Mexico believe that the laws protecting
the environment are either not strong enough or they are
not being enforced.
Support for stronger environmental
protection was wide spread across many key issues such as
clean water and air, conservation of public land, and urban
sprawl and development. When thinking about the future,
New Mexico voters place availability of future water supplies
(8.3) and clean air and water (7.8) in the top six issues
they are concerned about. While this falls behind drunk
driving (8.7) crime and drugs (8.6) and education (8.5),
it ranks significantly ahead of taxes (7.3).
New Mexican voters are clearly worried not only about
our future water supplies but about the quality of our water,
said Edward Sullivan, Executive Director of New Mexico
Wilderness Alliance. The public is ready for environmental
issues to be a top tier issue for policy makers, as it is
clearly a top tier issue for voters.
The majority of New Mexicans 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.
New Mexico voters understand the strong connection between
a healthy environment and a strong economy. They believe
we can have both. And the majority of voters, eighty-two
percent, consider environmental issues when deciding how
to vote, said Bob Langsenkamp, President of the New Mexico
Conservation Education Fund.
Highlights of the poll include:
- Voters in New Mexico are
nearly unanimous (82 percent) in saying that environmental
issues are important considerations in making a voting
- When given a choice, sixty-two
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 New Mexico voters are concerned
about on a scale with 10 representing extremely concerned.
When thinking about the future, New Mexico voters place
availability of future water supplies (8.3) and clean
air and water (7.8) in the top six issues they are concerned
about. While this falls behind drunk driving (8.7) crime
and drugs (8.6 ) and education (8.5), it ranks significantly
ahead of taxes (7.3).
- The overwhelming majority
of New Mexico voters (75 percent) do not believe that
there has to be a tradeoff between the environment and
the economy, they believe that we can have both.
- New Mexico voters want more
environmental protection, not less. 69 percent of voters
either believe that the laws protecting the environment
are either not strong enough or they are not being enforced
The telephone survey of 753 registered voters likely to
vote in the 2000 election was commissioned by LCVEF and
conducted by Research and Polling, Inc. The survey was
conducted between February 2 - 16, 2000. A random sample
of this type is likely to yield a margin of error of +/-