Both during the campaign and during his presidency so far, President Joe Biden has used the rhetoric of job creation to sell the country on taking action to combat climate change, regularly extolling the potential gains that the renewable energy sector will deliver in the coming decades.
According to new data from Morning Consult and Politico, Biden’s doubling-down on a message Democrats have been trying to deliver for years is resonating with voters, at least in part.
An April 30-May 3 survey found that 41 percent of voters think Biden’s efforts to address climate change will overall create more jobs than will be lost, while 30 percent think the United States will lose more jobs than will be created. Eleven percent said the policies will have no impact on the job market, while 18 percent said they do not know or have no opinion.
Predictably, the question elicited a partisan gulf in responses, with 67 percent of Democrats and just 12 percent of Republicans saying Biden’s climate policies will create more jobs than are lost. In comparison, 7 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of Republicans think job losses are the more likely outcome.
These responses also tended to be strongly polarized: 36 percent of Democrats tended to be very optimistic about job creation, saying “many more” jobs will be created than lost, while 45 percent of Republicans said “many more” jobs will be lost than created.
But there were also variations by income. Those making less than $50,000 annually tended to be less optimistic about the job gains that Biden’s policies would prompt than their high-income counterparts (making more than $100,000 annually), at 36 percent and 50 percent saying more jobs will be created than lost, respectively.
The income divide comes despite the Biden administration’s regular assurances that the majority of jobs that will result from the American Jobs Plan and similar infrastructure pushes will target vulnerable and low-income populations.
And even though the administration has said that most new energy jobs will not require a college degree, voters in this demographic are less likely than the overall electorate to believe the rhetoric: 34 percent of voters without a bachelor’s degree say the plan would lead overall to job creation, while 32 say it would lead to job losses.
Rural voters were also relatively skeptical, with 32 percent saying more jobs will be created than lost; 53 percent of urban voters -- who tend to be more left-leaning -- said the same. Thirty-eight percent of rural voters and 18 percent of urban voters said more jobs would be lost than gained.
The poll surveyed 1,991 registered voters and had a margin of error of 2 percentage points.