Voters Support A Green New Deal

By John L. Ray (@johnlray) and Sean McElwee (@SeanMcElwee)

In our What The Hell Happened survey, we find clear support for a green jobs guarantee, a key component of the Green New Deal that Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunrise movement have championed. In our survey fielded in the weeks before the midterm election, we asked respondents if they would support or oppose “giving every unemployed American who wants one a job building energy-efficient infrastructure.” Respondents could report if they strongly support, somewhat supported, neither support nor opposed, opposed, strongly opposed, or had no opinion of a green jobs guarantee. The sample was weighted to the 2018 electorate with help from progressive data firm Catalist.

We find that 66 percent of respondents somewhat or strongly support the policy, compared to just 13 percent who somewhat or strongly opposed the policy. While 22 percent of respondents reported neither supporting nor opposing, or being unsure, even if all of those respondents came to oppose the policy, somewhat/strongly support would still be the leading position.


Across age brackets, support for a green jobs guarantee was highest among young voters, but the overall level of support is within the item-level margin of error across age brackets. Perhaps surprisingly, opposition to a green jobs guarantee does not grow with age, being statistically equal across age brackets in our sample.


Net support for a green jobs guarantee is positive across the partisan divide. Democrats support the policy by a margin of +84 percent, Republicans support a green jobs guarantee by a net margin of +33 percent, and Independents are halfway between the two at supporting the policy by a net margin of +55 percent.


Across race categories, support for a green jobs guarantee was positive on net. Statistically zero Black respondents opposed a green jobs guarantee. By a statistically significant margin, however, Latino respondents reported being undecided on the policy -- but, as with the overall margin, even if all Latino undecideds moved to the opposed column, Latino respondents would still on net support the policy.


Far too few Democrats have embraced the Green New Deal, considering the level of support green policies enjoy. (Indeed, in a normal political era, we would scratching our heads for reasons as to why more Republicans don’t support it). A green jobs program is at the bedrock of the Green New Deal, which is building momentum by the day thanks to a broad coalition of advocates including the Sunrise Movement and Representative-elect Ocasio-Cortez. Every federal legislator must explain their stance on the Green New Deal and a green jobs guarantee, and why it contradicts the preferences of the American public/

John L. Ray (@johnlray) is Senior Political Analyst at YouGov Blue.

Sean McElwee (@SeanMcElwee) is a co-founder of Data for Progress.


As part of our What The Hell Happened Project, Data for Progress commissioned a survey of 3,215 voters from YouGov Blue that was fielded October 27th through November 7th, which was weighted to be nationally representative of 2018 voters. The survey margin of error was +/-2 percent.

Sean McElwee