Poll: Energy production a major factor for Iowans in upcoming election

An arctic drilling vessel off the coast of northern Alaska. (Kevan Dee/Flickr)
An arctic drilling vessel off the coast of northern Alaska. (Kevan Dee/Flickr)

Nick Fetty | June 25, 2015

More than 80 percent of Iowa voters consider energy policy to be a major factor for selecting candidates in the upcoming presidential election, according to a recent poll.

The poll was conducted by the Consumer Energy Alliance in April 2015 and surveyed 500 registered Iowa voters via telephone interviews. Interviewees were asked questions ranging from what presidential candidate they most support to specific questions regarding energy production for the United States.

The poll concluded that 52 percent of Iowans surveyed supported offshore drilling for oil and natural gas in U.S. waters within the Arctic Circle, compared to 32 percent who opposed it. The findings differed along political lines as 74 percent of republicans support arctic drilling (compared to 10 percent who opposed it) while 49 percent of democrats opposed it (and 34 percent supported it). Forty-eight percent of non-partisan voters also supported arctic drilling and 38 percent opposed it.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management finds that “the Alaska Outer Continental Shelf has about 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas — or about 13 percent of its undiscovered oil and 30 percent of the world’s undiscovered natural gas.” The National Petroleum Council – a division of the U.S. Department of Energy – says that utilizing resources available in the arctic circle will lead to domestic job creation and billions of dollars in revenue, while also contributing to domestic energy production and lowering consumer costs.

The poll also asked likely Iowan caucus-goers about their preference for presidential candidates with a clear majority of democrats supporting Hilary Clinton (64 percent) while Rand Raul (13 percent), Jeb Bush (11 percent), and Scott Walker (11 percent) were the front-runners on the republican side.

Similar polls have been conducted in New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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