Policy Update

NCEL Monthly Messenger: Winning the West Poll 2020



NCEL Point of Contact

Ruth Musgrave
Conservation Senior Advisor

Western Voters Favor 2020 Political Candidates Who Prioritize Public Land Access and Conservation

A new poll from the Center for Western Priorities found that nearly 80 percent of likely western voters surveyed, regardless of party affiliation, said national public lands, parks and wildlife issues are important factors in deciding which candidate they will support in the 2020 presidential and congressional races. A majority of respondents also said they support increasing investments in renewable energy and oppose decreasing environmental regulations on oil and gas companies. The poll included 2,800 likely western voters from Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and Nevada.

Other key findings from the poll include:

  • 67 percent preferred limitations on oil, gas and coal extractions on public land. Similarly, 48 percent of respondents called for banning drilling altogether.
  • The National Park Service and the Forest Service received over 80 percent favorability ratings from all respondents
  • Democratic, Republican and Independent poll respondents overwhelmingly supported: 
    • Full funding for the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (78 percent)
    • Investments in forest management to protect lands and communities from wildfires (86 percent)
    • More money for new public trails, access points, and campgrounds on public lands (70 percent)

The poll surveyed 2,800 likely voters in 5 states from August 11 – September 1, 2019. The margin of error (MOR) for the full sample of 2800 completed interviews is +/- 2%, while the MOR for states was +/- 4%.