Renewable tax incentives tagged as a winnable platform, new poll finds


By Jean Haggerty

Less than a month ago, House Democrats released a clean energy discussion draft that extends the solar investment tax credit (ITC) and that grants the wind and energy storage industries ITC terms similar to those that the solar industry has enjoyed for the last five years.

Renewable energy tax incentives have bi-partisan support, and for voters in House and Senate battleground districts, it is an issue that they are willing to change their vote on, Andrew Baumann, senior vice president at Global Strategy Group said.

Nationwide the support for expanding the renewable energy tax incentive is at 89%, with support at 83% or higher among every partisan and demographic group, even Republican voters, the poll found.

It is also an issue that can tip a voter support, especially when it comes to center-right voters, Baumann noted.

When Global Strategy Group framed the generic ballot around tax incentive extensions for renewables, the Democratic margin on the generic congressional ballot increased by 20 points and most of the Democratic gains were with center-right voters.

Nationwide voters said that the arguments for extending the renewable energy tax incentive that resonated most with them and that were the most convincing were focused on improvements in health (50%), addressing climate change (46%), and aiding the economy (50%).

At the House level, voters in battleground districts cited the possibility that an extension could yield positive health impacts (49%), make progress on addressing climate change (45%), or lead to favorable economic outcomes (43%) as very convincing reasons for supporting an extension. In battleground Senate districts, meanwhile, voters listed the health case for an extension (47%), the economic arguments for an extension (45%), and the climate change arguments (43%) as very convincing.

Global Strategy Group’s poll also found that attacks – including those focused on the possible negative economic consequences of an extension – did little to dent voter support for extending renewable energy tax incentives.

Nationwide only 32% of voters said that they had major doubts about an extension in the face of negative messages about the cost of an extension of renewable energy tax incentives. In the battleground districts in the House and Senate, 34% and 33% said that they had major reservations about the cost of an extension.

The poll, which was conducted with registered voters from 10 battleground states and 25 battleground House districts last month, was funded entirely by Sunrun.


EDIT: This article was corrected on 12/10/19 to remove the claim that the poll was paid for by the League of Conservation Voters, the Center for American Progress (CAP) Action Fund, Sunrun and the Solar Energy Industries Association. We apologize for the error.

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