Senator Ellis Press Release

For Immediate Release
March 12, 2010
Contact: Tina Tran, (512) 463-0113

New Study on Climate Change Attitudes
African Americans in Key States See Global Warming as an Election Issue

(Washington, D.C.)—According to a new poll released earlier this week, a majority of African Americans in four battleground states - Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri and South Carolina - see climate change as a critical issue that will affect their votes in the November midterm elections.

The poll, "Opinion of African Americans on Climate Change and 2010 Midterm Elections: The Results of a Multi-State Poll," which included a survey of 500 black voters in each of the four states, was conducted by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a research and public policy institution that focuses on the concerns of African Americans and other people of color.

"The results of the poll are undeniable. Climate change is an important issue to African Americans and it will play a role in how African Americans vote in the coming elections. I hope that the poll results will resonate with candidates," said Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis, who co-chairs the Commission to Engage African Americans on Climate Change.

According to the new polling, in every state, three out of four respondents said climate change was either very or somewhat important in choosing a U.S. Senator - and in Arkansas and South Carolina, a majority said it was very important.

Even in tough economic times, a majority of African Americans in all four states would pay up to 10 dollars per month more in electric rates to combat global warming. More than one in four respondents would pay an additional 25 dollars per month.

About 9 out of 10 African Americans in all four states support government investment in green jobs, and even more support green vocational educational programs to help prepare students for green jobs.

"The Joint Center has been assessing the opinion of African Americans on the issue of climate change for the past two years. We continue to find that African Americans believe this problem is something that the government and individuals can and should do something about," said Ralph B. Everett, the Joint Center's President and CEO. "We think this is noteworthy, especially given how important African American voters have been to election victories in these states in recent years."

The survey results come as the Joint Center and its Commission to Engage African Americans on Climate Change announce a major effort over the next several months to work with African American communities in these and other states to encourage discussion and knowledge sharing on global warming and related issues.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points. It was conducted between November 11, 2009 and December 1, 2009 by Research America of Philadelphia, PA.

To follow the work of the Joint Center and the Commission to Engage African Americans on Climate Change, visit http://jcpes.wordpress.com.

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is one of the nation's leading research and public policy institutions and the only one whose work focuses primarily on issues of particular concern to African Americans and other people of color. The Joint Center will mark its 40th Anniversary of service in 2010. To learn more, please visit www.jointcenter.org.

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