Since Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with Senator Ed Markey, released the official Green New Deal resolution last week, much has been made of the document. How could our economy possibly divest from fossil fuels in a decade? Where are we supposed to get the money to actually pay people decent wages? What’s this I hear about banning cow farts?! Though it has broad support among House and Senate Democrats, it seems likely to succumb to a bitterly divided political process.
Especially if this Fyre Fest parody tweeted by North Carolina representative Mark Walker is a good litmus test of Republican sentiment on the matter.
But Walker and his cohorts might be surprised to discover that early polling shows the Green New Deal receiving broad bipartisan support. Per The Hill, a poll conducted by both the Yale Program on Climate Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication found that 81 percent of registered voters support the Green New Deal’s essential points. Among party lines, 92 percent of registered Democrats and 61 percent of registered Republicans support the resolution.
That might come as a surprise to GOP politicians who, according to the Associated Press, called the proposal radical economic suicide. It has been called “a socialist manifesto” and “a raw deal for the American taxpayer” by Republican Sen. John Barrasso from Wyoming, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Even some centrist Democrats doubt the initiative. In fact, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called it “the green dream or whatever.”
Further, plenty of think-pieces from the right cast doubt on the ability to pass such radical reforms. Fox News talking heads had meltdowns. The National Review called it “dead on arrival.” The Cato Institute, a right-wing libertarian think-tank, wrote, “It’s easy to think they’ve lost their minds.”
The Yale/George Mason poll will likely come as a shock to conservative lawmakers and pundits, especially when you look at further breakdowns of the numbers and see that a whopping 57 percent of conservative Republicans support the initiative (with 11 percent of that figure strongly supporting it). The pollsters wrote of their findings, “Notably, although our description of the Deal accurately provided details about the proposal, it did not mention that the Green New Deal is championed by Democratic members of Congress” in order to prevent bias in answering.
Still, the numbers are clear: radical may not be such a bad word after all.