Posted: 07/06/2012 10:53 am Updated: 07/06/2012 11:00 am
There aren't many issues that can unite Republicans and Democrats in an election year, but a new national poll seems to have found at least one: conservation. Conducted for the Nature Conservancy by two opinion-research firms — one Democratic and one Republican — the poll found more than four in five Americans consider it a patriotic duty to protect natural resources, regardless of politics.
"From Tea Party Republicans to liberal Democrats, overwhelming majorities of Americans of all political persuasions believe that 'conserving the country's natural resources — land, air and water — is patriotic,'" the pollsters write in a summary of their findings. That includes 89 percent of Democrats, 79 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of independents, but the sentiment doesn't only cross political lines. The following percentages of various groups agree that conservation is patriotic:
- More than 70 percent of registered voters in every U.S. region
- Voters younger than 35 (84 percent) and those 65 or older (83 percent)
- Urbanites (79 percent), suburbanites (85 percent) and rural residents (83 percent)
- Hunters (80 percent), anglers (80 percent) and wildlife watchers (82 percent)
- Hikers (80 percent), mountain bikers (78 percent) and ATV users (77 percent)
"Overall, it is clear that conservation is an issue that more often unites, rather than divides, the American people," says David Metz of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, the Democratic polling group. And according to Lori Weigel of Public Opinion Strategies, the GOP firm, "Whether it is a general sense of patriotism and pride in national parks, or support for several specific federal policies, the survey finds a great deal in common among Americans regarding their views on conservation."
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