Rasmussen Reports: ‘Mixed Feelings,’ Split on Economic Impacts of House Bill

Like their members of Congress, Americans overall appear to have “mixed feelings” about the climate change/energy legislation – Republican opponents took to calling it the “national energy tax” bill – passed in late June on a 219-212 House floor vote.

A telephone survey by Rasmussen Reports found 42 percent of those polled thinking the bill will hurt the U.S. economy, 15 percent saying it will help, and the balance, 24 percent, uncertain. (Think maybe the one-quarter undecided come closest to reality?)

No surprise from earlier poll findings, those considering themselves Republicans are most inclined to fear for the economy – 56 percent – with 52 percent of independents sharing that view. Three-in-ten Democrats see economic benefits from the bill, while 23 percent and 21 percent, respectively, see a negative or no impact.

Half of those designated by Rasmussen as “mainstream America” see the Waxman-Markey bill hurting the economy, while two-thirds of Rasmussen’s “political class” see it helping. All in all, 37 percent say they favor the bill, with 41 percent “at least somewhat opposed to it.” Again, the real savants here, some might say, are the 22 percent who are “not sure what to make of it.”

On an intensity scale, Rasmussen’s Nays outnumber the Yeas, with those strongly opposed at 25 percent contrasted with 12 percent strongly favoring the bill.

Just over half, 52 percent of those polled, said they “have been following news reports about the bill at least somewhat closely.” (One wonders about that one!) Just this past May, according to Rasmussen, fewer than one-in-four of those surveyed could identify “cap-and-trade” as “something that deals with environmental issues.”

Rasmussen found 40 percent of U.S. voters saying “global warming is a very serious problem,” but they are “closely divided” over whether the culprit is “human activity or long-term planetary trends.” That finding did not include the option many responsible scientists would like to see: both, with human factors contributing substantially, but not solely, to recent warming. Forty-two percent of those surveyed said “major lifestyle changes” will be needed, but 44 percent disagreed.

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