South Carolina voters overwhelmingly onboard with Arctic drilling

At the beginning of the month we looked at a pair of highly specific polls conducted in Iowa and New Hampshire on the subject of offshore drilling by American energy companies above the Arctic circle. The results came as close to showing cross party unity on an issue as any I’ve seen in ages. Americans are enjoying the benefits of being a global energy leader and not relying entirely on the good will of nations who don’t care much for us. The presidential contenders from both parties might want to review those and then take a look at the next round which was just conducted in South Carolina. The results are almost identical, as described by Consumer Energy Alliance.

As echoed in recent poll results from Iowa and New Hampshire, voters in South Carolina overwhelmingly support offshore energy development in the Arctic. The polling of South Carolina voters also showed energy policy will be an important issue when casting their votes in the 2016 Presidential election.

In the latest poll by Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), South Carolina voters were found to support Arctic offshore energy production by a significant 38 point margin, with 63% of voters in support and only 32% in opposition. As the primary season approaches, these results show that Presidential candidates will need to take a strong stance on the issue of Arctic offshore energy exploration.

Overall, the vast majority of South Carolina voters (more than 85%) said energy issues will be an important factor when making decisions in the 2016 presidential election.

As with the previous outings in the first two primary / caucus states, the breakdown below the top lines shows the kind of crossover support which most issue advocates could only dream of. Unsurprisingly, the Republicans weigh in at a 76/16 support ratio, but even the Democrats overall reach a thin majority at 51/29. But of the greatest likely interest to candidates are the coveted independent, no affiliation voters. They register 60/32 support… nearly a two to one margin. That’s a dream target for political strategists.

The poll again samples the current favorites in the GOP primary for South Carolina and it’s still a very mixed bag. Lindsey Graham is still messing up the numbers by being the hometown favorite, but most of the national contenders still have some daylight in this race.


Among likely primary voters (once you take out Graham, who isn’t polling in measurable numbers anywhere else) it’s Rubio, Walker, Bush and Huckabee. I’m rather surprised that Cruz is doing as mediocre as he is in a state like this. Of course, the real question is who their consensus candidate would be, but none of the deep numbers on this survey give us a good indication of that. If Graham’s supporters had to go elsewhere, who do they turn to? I wouldn’t be shocked if Rubio and Walker picked up equal amounts.

The bottom line here, though, is the main election issue being examined and the campaigns would do well to take a look at it. This is going to be a tight race and 85% of voters are rating energy issues as a high priority. Start speaking to that a bit more and contrast yourself with the dismal performance of the Obama administration and who knows? It might be enough to buy the edge that they’re all looking for.