Poll: Majority of Americans support Keystone XL, including Democrats
posted at 2:01 pm on March 19, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
Yet another poll on the general public’s feelings on the Keystone XL pipeline, this one from Pew, is out today confirming pretty much everything we already knew about the beleaguered project: That the majority of Americans are cool with it, while the majority of the opposition is coming from out-of-touch wealthy liberals. Shocker.
As the Obama administration deliberates over whether to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built, the proposed pipeline continues to draw broad support from the public. Currently, 61% favor building the pipeline while 27% are opposed. These views have changed little over the past year.
As previous surveys on the pipeline proposal have found, there is far more support for constructing the pipeline among Republicans (84% favor) and independents (61%) than among Democrats. About half of Democrats (49%) favor building the pipeline while 38% are opposed. …
There are comparable differences among Democrats across income categories. Democrats with annual family incomes of at least $100,000 are the least likely group to support the pipeline: about half (51%) oppose Keystone and 36% support it. Those with incomes between $50,000 and $100,000 are divided, while there is more support than opposition among those with family incomes of less than $50,000.
Out-of-touch wealthy liberals like, oh, I don’t know — let’s say Tom Steyer, the billionaire currently spending his impressively amassed cash monies on lame, bogus, non sequitur polling and single-issue political campaigning against supporters of the project while trying (and failing spectacularly) to delegitimize the whole thing, in the same vein as Mayors Against Illegal Guns with gun control. Unlike Mayors Against Illegal Guns, however, Steyer isn’t spending his cash on calling out his fellow Democrats, as Jim Geraghty at NRO aptly points out:
Earlier this year, billionaire Tom Steyer pledged to raise $100 million to make climate change a dominant issue in the 2014 midterm elections. That sounds impressive, but as the midterms take shape, a serious dilemma is emerging for Steyer and his allies: Sticking to their principles would require them to refuse help to quite a few key Senate Democrats running for reelection in red states.
Back in 2013, Steyer pulled no punches against Democrat Stephen Lynch in the Massachusetts Senate primary, running a faux “Big Oil Supports Steve Lynch” ad and offering a video of Lynch’s face morphing into George W. Bush. The primary criticism of Lynch was that he supports the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would carry oil derived from tar sands in western Canada through the U.S. heartland to refineries in Texas.
But sometime between last year and this year, it became perfectly fine for a senator to support the Keystone Pipeline, as long as that senator has Steyer’s preferred party affiliation. Democratic strategist Chris Lehane, who advises Steyer, told The Hill that Steyer’s group would not run ads against Democrats, even if they support Keystone. “We aren’t going to go in to try to undermine and hurt Democrats.”
Calling out his fellow Democrats would mean meddling in the sensitive races of vulnerable senators like Mary Landrieu, Mark Begich, and Mark Pryor, not to mention Kay Hagan in North Carolina and Mark Warner in Virginia — and if President Obama really is going to make a decision within the next month or so, my money would be on a green light with a specific mind to helping those same senators.