• Eco-Liberal Attacks On Kasich Could Boost His Republican Appeal

    They may not realize it, but liberal news sites could be inadvertently helping to promote Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s conservative credentials among Republican voters.

    Gov. Kasich announced his candidacy Tuesday, and liberal news outlets were quick to bash him for his refusal to back regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions and forcing utilities to use more green energy.

    “Kasich’s record on the economy has one major flaw: In 2014 he signed a bill freezing a successful clean energy program,” the liberal blog ThinkProgress reported, referring to a state law mandating green energy use Kasich froze.

    “Kasich actually believes in climate change unlike far too many of his fellow candidates,” reads an article on the blog Ecowatch. “But don’t mistake him for a climate warrior. He holds the dubious distinction of making Ohio the first state to freeze its renewable portfolio standard” and he didn’t agree with Pope Francis on how to tackle global warming.

    These are major problems from a liberal perspective, but likely only help boost his standing among conservatives who are skeptical of the benefits of green energy and of the science behind global warming.

    A Gallup poll from April found fewer than four in 10 conservative Republicans believe “the effects of global warming will happen within their lifetime.” Some 40 percent of conservative Republicans believe global warming will never affect people’s livelihoods.

    “Global warming views are marked by a large partisan gap; Republicans typically treat the concept and consequences of global warming with a heavy dose of skepticism, while Democrats usually express concern about global warming’s impact on the environment,” according to Gallup.

    Environmentalists have also criticized Kasich for not agreeing with Pope Francis’ take on global warming. The pope’s June encyclical letter blamed human activities for global warming and widespread environmental degradation. The pope’s encyclical was also filled with what has been criticized as anti-capitalist rhetoric.

    “I don’t agree with his conclusion that all of it is bad because of free enterprise because it’s lifted people out of poverty and he cares about the poor and so do I,” Kasich said. “So, I mean a nice warning about people to think about the environment.”

    Conservative Republicans are also likely to oppose government mandates forcing the increased use of green energy, like wind and solar.

    Republicans, however, are not altogether against green energy, according to polling. Gallup reported in March that Republicans tend to favor all forms of domestically-produced energy, even if it comes from solar and wind.

    “Republicans and Democrats show the greatest differences in their views of oil and nuclear power,” according to Gallup. “Sixty percent of Republicans support putting more emphasis on oil, more than double the 28% of Democrats who support it. For nuclear energy, 47% of Republicans support greater emphasis, compared with 24% of Democrats.”

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