BOSTON, October 5, 2000 —New England voters are very concerned
about the protection of clean air and clean water, according to
a poll released by the League of Conservation Voters Education
Fund (LCVEF) today. New England voters ranked these two issues
on par with healthcare, crime and drugs, and education. The poll
also found that voters think protecting clean air, water, and
open space should be a top priority for elected leaders with nearly
92 percent saying that environmental issues would figure strongly
in voting decisions. Elected Leaders up and down the ballot should
take notice –New England voters care about the air they breathe
and the water they drink, and will support officials who will
safeguard their environment.
The Mellman Group polled 926 likely November 2000 voters in Massachusetts,
Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. The poll was conducted
June 12-18, 2000, for the League of Conservation Voters Education
“New England voters are deeply concerned that the air they breathe
is clean and the water they drink is healthy. Ninety-two percent
of voters consider these issues important to making their voting
decision,” said Mike Fogelberg, LCVEF New England Regional Director.
“Our poll found that voters will support elected officials who
will protect our air and water over those who will not. Elected
leaders should stand up and take notice that these issues matter
to voters on a very fundamental level.”
Highlights of the poll include:
Voters in New England rated clean air and water as the
top environmental concerns, on par with healthcare, crime and
drugs, and education issues. Voters are more concerned about
clean air and water than Medicare, Social Security and taxes.
When asked how important are issues involving clean
water and clean air in deciding how to cast their votes, 92
percent of voters said those issues were important (50 percent
said very important and 42 percent said somewhat important).
When given a choice between two candidates for elected
office—Candidate A, who believes we must protect the environment
and supports strong laws and enforcement of those laws, and
Candidate B, who believes there are too many government regulations
and supports efforts to relieve the burden of regulation on
business—New England voters choose Candidate A 76 percent to
19 percent over Candidate B.
Eighty-six percent of voters polled believe that
older coal and oil burning power plants should be required to
meet the current emissions standards set by the Clean Air Act.
Only ten percent believe that they should be allowed to continue
to operate as they are.
Eighty-eight percent of voters think that environmental
factors like pollution are an important cause of increased rates
of disease and health problems.
Eighty-two percent of New England voters want
tougher enforcement of environment laws or stronger laws.
Seventy-six percent of voters believe that we
do not have to choose between a strong economy and a clean environment.
Of the 20 percent who do believe that we must choose between
a clean environment and strong economy, 57 percent choose the
environment and 35 percent choose the economy.
The telephone survey of 926 registered voters likely to vote
in the 2000 election polled voters in Massachusetts (502), Maine
(148), New Hampshire (72), Rhode Island (54), and Vermont (150)
and was commissioned by LCVEF and conducted by The Mellman Group.
The survey was conducted June 12-18, 2000. A random sample of
this type is likely to yield a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent
in 95 out of 100 cases for the entire sample.