Candidates take heed: Environmental policy matters

Environmental stands by gubernatorial candidates Gavin Newsom and John Cox are important to nearly all likely voters, and 56 percent view their positions as “very important,” a Public Policy Institute of California poll released Wednesday shows.

That’s a significant jump from past polls.

Overall, Democrat Newsom leads Republican Cox in the race for governor among likely voters 55-31 percent, the poll found.

PPIC President Mark Baldassare: “The environment has people on edge right now.”

Among the poll’s other findings:

  • 86 percent of likely voters are very or somewhat concerned about global warming’s impact on wildfires. That view cuts across party lines.
  • Californians are far more likely to view global warming as a front-burner issue than voters elsewhere in the country (62 percent to 48 percent nationally), and 69 percent say global warming’s impacts have begun.
  • 60 percent of likely voters favor tougher auto emission rules and 66 percent think air pollution is a problem. That doesn’t bode well for the Trump administration effort to bar the state from imposing its own clean air regulations.
  • California voters disapprove of President Donald Trump’s handling of the environment by a 67-27 percent margin, and 93 percent of Democrats disapprove.

This story originally appeared in WhatMatters, our daily roundup of the most important policy and politics news in California. Subscribe here.

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