Deep partisan split even penetrates views of the environment

In the worst overall assessment in nearly a decade, a majority of Americans believes the nation’s overall environment is not that great.

Only 40 percent rate the environment as “excellent” or “good,” Gallup reports.

With the exception of 2015’s 50 percent, an American majority has rated the environment negatively this entire century.

And it might not surprise you to learn that the new Gallup poll reveals that partisan beliefs play a major role in adults’ views of the environment. Republicans consistently view the environment more positively than Democrats.

The March survey of 1,041 adults found 61 percent of GOP members rate the environment positively, down slightly from 64 percent in 2017.

Only 23 percent of Democrats, on the other hand, chose the positive rating, down sharply from 37 percent in 2017 and from 40 percent in Barack Obama’s final year. That 23 percent is the lowest environmental rating Democrats have had since 2001.

Now, what in the world do you suppose might have happened since late 2016 to make Democrats feel so badly?

While Americans overall have shown a rising optimism about the future, a high percentage say the environment is getting worse from 61 percent in the latest poll to 68 percent in 2018.

The 56 percent of Republicans who say the environment is improving matches the record high of 2004. Democrats’ assessments are always lower and especially during GOP presidencies.

This year only 15 percent say the environment is getting better, which is low but not as low as the nine percent recorded in 2007 near the end of George W. Bush’s second term.