It’s Not So Hot Being a Republican

March 22, 2012
Posted by Jay Livingston

Hot enough for you?  Your answer might depend on who you’re voting for.

World views affect not just how we interpret what we see; these views influence what we actually experience.  That was the point of the previous post.

Do people who reject the idea global warming perceive the weather as being cooler?  Gallup just published the results of a poll (here) that asked people if this winter was warmer than usual. Unfortunately, Gallup asked only for political affiliation, but it can stand as a rough proxy for ideas about global warming.  So the data are suggestive, not conclusive. But for what it’s worth, Democrats were more likely than Republicans to say yes, it’s been a warm winter.  Some of the difference can be attributed to geography (Democrats living in places that had a much warmer winter than usual). But I suspect that at least part of the 11-point difference is political.  

Republicans reject the idea that the world is getting warmer – that’s a question of science – but they also experience their own immediate environment as cooler, which is a matter of perception.

As the graph shows, Gallup then asked those who did think that the winter was unusually warm what they thought the cause was – global warming or just normal variation..  As you might expect, political affiliation made a difference.   Democrats were more than twice as likely as Republicans to cite global warming as the cause.

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