The Consumer Energy Alliance released a new poll today sampling the feelings of Iowa and New Hampshire voters on the subject of offshore drilling above the Arctic circle. It’s a subject which should be of particular interest to both voters and presidential aspirants as recent moves by the Obama administration, along with the Departments of the Interior and Energy seem to be edging us back into the game. Some of the loudest voices on the Left are already up in arms and Hillary will be forced to answer their demands at some point.
But if any of the candidates now tossing their hats in the ring want to cover their bases, they would do well to take a peek at these numbers.
A new poll by Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) shows Iowa voters support Arctic offshore energy production by a 20 point margin (52% support – 32% oppose). New Hampshire voters also support Arctic offshore energy production by a 19 point margin (54% support – 35% oppose). As the administrative process moves forward on offshore exploration in the Arctic, candidates will need to stake out a position on the issue in the upcoming primary season.
The numbers in Iowa show a rather stark split along party lines. A majority of registered voters in Iowa support allowing offshore drilling for oil and natural gas in U.S. waters inside the Arctic Circle (52% support, 32% oppose). For Republicans it’s a 74-10 split in favor, while Democrats oppose it 34 – 49. (Go figure.) The startling figure here which candidates will want to keep an eye on is that non-partisan voters support Arctic drilling 48-38. That’s a make or break number in a close race.
The numbers in New Hampshire aren’t much different. Overall, registered voters favor Arctic offshore drilling 54 – 35. Likely GOP primary voters are in favor 70 – 18, while Democrats oppose it 34 – 54. But again, the independent, non-partisan vote comes down in favor of drilling 54 – 35. Whoever can grab that segment of Granite State voters is going to win the race.
This same poll also took a snapshot of which candidates are doing well at this stage of the proceedings. Hillary is running away with the race among Democrats, which is no surprise, but the GOP picture remains up for grabs. In Iowa, likely Republican caucus voters don’t seem to be stampeding toward any one candidate yet. Rand Paul and Scott Walker are at 14% with Rubio at 12% and Bush and Cruz rounding out the group in double digits at 10%.
New Hampshire seems to be starting the process of narrowing the field (keeping in mind that anyone can switch positions with a single turn of the news cycle) and a couple of figures are building up a sizable lead among likely primary voters. Walker is at 20% and Bush takes 17%, with Rand Paul being the only other candidate hitting double digits at 10%.
If any of these candidates with lower numbers are looking to move up and are earnest supporters of domestic energy exploration, this might be a good time to take to the stump and carve out a position on this subject. This isn’t just a winning issue in the primary… it’s a winner in key states for the general election as well.