Annals of Partisanship: What Made the Winter So Warm?

by John Sides on March 21, 2012 · 6 comments

in Public opinion

{ 6 comments }

Matt Dhaiti March 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm

i wonder if the 10 point difference between democrats and republicans on the not-colder than usual responses and 7 point differences between independents and republicans reflect a partisan relationship, noise, or actual temperature differences. republican voters live disproportionately in the south, the mountain west, and alaska, while democratic voters live disproportionately on the coasts and hawaii. maybe this has something to do with those numbers?

John Sides March 21, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Matt: The bigger partisan difference is really in the explanation offered by those who thought the winter was warmer. That probably isn’t due to geography.

Scott March 21, 2012 at 6:36 pm

A relevant paper presenting some evidence that system justifying beliefs lead people to “feel global warming less”:
http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/5/1/2/5/5/p512555_index.html

Tobin Grant March 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm

The difference may, in part, due to the use of “global warming” instead of “climate change.”

See: Jonathon P. Schuldt, Sara H. Konrath, & Norbert Schwarz. “Global warming” or “climate change”? Whether the planet is warming depends on question wording. POQ 2011

Abstract
In public discourse and survey research, global climate change is sometimes referred to as “global warming” and sometimes as “climate change.” An analysis of web sites of conservative and liberal think tanks suggests that conservatives prefer to use the term “global warming” whereas liberals prefer “climate change.” A question wording experiment (N = 2267) illustrates the power of these frames: Republicans were less likely to endorse that the phenomenon is real when it was referred to as “global warming” (44.0%) rather than “climate change” (60.2%), whereas Democrats were unaffected by question wording (86.9% vs. 86.4%). As a result, the partisan divide on the issue dropped from 42.9 percentage points under a “global warming” frame to 26.2 percentage points under a “climate change” frame. Theoretical and methodological implications are discussed.

Michael D. Jones March 22, 2012 at 6:12 am

Here is another paper addressing this topic. It was presented last year at the AAG by some scholars from Oklahoma (political scientists and meteorologists from the National Weather Center).

http://meridian.aag.org/callforpapers/program/AbstractDetail.cfm?AbstractID=34283

Chris March 22, 2012 at 8:57 am

Strange question.

Weather is a stochastic process. There’s also global warming.

Both answers are technically correct. I’m not sure what this tells you.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: