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Florida Republicans are finally embracing the idea of climate change. Image via AP.

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Poll: Climate change concerns Floridians even in the face of COVID-19

Republicans, Democrats, independents all worry.

Even in these unprecedented times of COVID-19 and myriad other challenges, Floridians still worry about climate change.

That’s the conclusion of a Florida Atlantic University Center for Environmental Studies and the Business and Economics Polling Initiative survey released Thursday.

The survey showed overwhelming anxiety about climate change, with 89% of Floridians concerned, numbers consistent with previous iterations of the Florida Climate Resilience Survey.

These numbers, as in previous polling, were reflected among Republicans, Democrats, and voters without party affiliation alike.

GOP voters’ concern has increased, from 81% months ago to 86% in the Spring survey.

“Because Florida is a political bellwether state, this solidifying of public opinion among Florida Republicans about the reality of climate change may signal a similar change in coming years for the GOP across the nation,” said Colin Polsky, Ph.D., director of the FAU Center for Environmental Studies, and lead author of the study.

The group polled 1,319 Floridians from April 1-13 and from May 4-10. The survey revealed that even amidst concerns about the novel coronavirus and unprecedented economic turbulence, a strong consensus prevails for meaningful change.

“Almost overnight, the coronavirus dramatically transformed American life, but it’s encouraging to see that climate change remained a hot button issue for Floridians despite the public health crisis that shifted everyone’s priorities,” Dr. Polsky added.

A majority of respondents to the survey also believe that human beings are causing climate change. That number, at 55%, is consistent likewise with previous versions of this poll.

The survey was conducted via an online panel by Dynata.

A total of 37% were “strongly Republican” or “leaning Republican” while 32% of those polled were “strongly Democratic” or “leaning Democratic.”

The remainder of respondents don’t lean in either party’s direction.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com

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