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Myth busted: No partisan divide on wind support, young Americans overwhelming in preferences

Photo: Daniel Turner
Myth busted: No partisan divide on wind support, young Americans overwhelming in preferences
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A slew of surveys across 2016 and 2017 found Americans across the board supported the growth of wind energy. Now we have our first evidence from 2018 that this support continues to increase, and that we have a true rarity in today’s political environment coming into focus– there is no meaningful partisan divide in the country’s preference for wind.

Among American adults, 85% support increased reliance on wind power according to new data from the Pew Research Center. That includes 91% of Democrats and those who lean Democratic, and 79% of Republicans and those who lean Republican. Such cross-cutting support for renewables stands in contrast to other forms of energy.

What’s really fascinating, however, is the breakdown in support for wind by age. When examining millennial preference for wind, the small partisan gap that exists for the overall population virtually disappears: 87% of Republican millennials support growing wind, compared to 91% of Democrats at any age.

Another recent poll, by the American Conservation Coalition (a college Republican clean energy group) and the Conservative Energy Network, found 79% of millennials “felt that a pro-clean energy candidate cares more about their family’s future.” Likewise, millennials favored wind by a 39 point margin in their survey.

So not only do we see widespread support for wind regardless of political leanings, that support is likely to increase in the years ahead. Furthermore, the small partisan gap that exists in overall support for wind may soon disappear entirely.

And none of that should be surprising considering the kinds of benefits that wind brings to communities across the country:

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Greg is AWEA's Deputy Director of External Communications. He is the head editor and writer for Into the Wind, and oversees AWEA's online content and opinion writing. Greg holds a Master's degree in Global Environmental Policy from American University's School of International Service. He also holds a Bachelor's degree in International Relations and Journalism from Lehigh University.

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