Poll: Majority of Americans oppose President Trump’s proposed cuts to EPA’s budget, withdrawing from Paris Climate Treaty


Republicans and Democrats differ widely on most questions

For immediate release: April 26, 2017

Boston, MA – According to a new POLITICO/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health poll, 60% of the American public as a whole opposes President Trump’s recently proposed 31% cut in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, constituents of the two major political parties are very far apart on this issue. Among Democrats, 81% oppose these cuts, while nearly seven in ten Republicans (68%) support them.

Similarly, a 62% majority of the public as a whole supports the United States remaining in the Paris Climate Treaty, despite President Trump’s suggestions that participating in the treaty would harm U.S. jobs. Once more, there are significant partisan divides: 87% of Democrats support continued participation in the Paris agreement, while 56% of Republicans would prefer to withdraw from the treaty. Among Independents, 61% support staying in the treaty.

Additionally, though President Trump and Republican leaders have argued that EPA regulation harms U.S. jobs, a majority of the public as a whole – including a majority of Republicans – disagree. Only 21% of all Americans and 31% of Republicans think government regulation designed to address climate change costs U.S. jobs.

Dr. Robert Blendon, who co-directed the poll, said: “This suggests that Republican support for cutting the EPA’s budget is not based on the specific idea that environmental regulation costs U.S. jobs, but likely on a more general distaste for government regulation overall.”

View the complete poll findings.


These polls are part of an ongoing series of surveys developed by researchers at the Harvard Opinion Research Program (HORP) at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in partnership with POLITICO.

The research team at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health consists of: Robert J. Blendon, Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis and Executive Director of HORP; John M. Benson, Senior Research Scientist and Managing Director; Logan S. Casey, Research Analyst in Public Opinion; and Justin M. Sayde, Administrative and Research Manager. The research team at POLITICO was led by Joanne Kenen, Executive Editor, Health Care at Politico/Politico Pro.

Interviews for the first poll were conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,019 randomly selected adults, ages 18 and older, via telephone (including cell phones and landlines) by SSRS of Media, Pennsylvania. The interviewing period was March 22 – 26, 2017.

Interviews for the second poll were conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,017 randomly selected adults, ages 18 and older, via telephone (including cell phones and landlines) by SSRS of Media, Pennsylvania. The interviewing period was March 29 – April 2, 2017.

The data for each of the polls were weighted to reflect the demographics of the national adult population as described by the U.S. Census. When interpreting these findings, one should recognize that all surveys are subject to sampling error. Results may differ from what would be obtained if the whole U.S. adult population had been interviewed. The margin of error for the first poll is ±3.7 percentage points; for the second poll, ±3.8 percentage points

Possible sources of non-sampling error include non-response bias, as well as question wording and ordering effects. Non-response in telephone surveys produces some known biases in survey-derived estimates because participation tends to vary for different subgroups of the population. To compensate for these known biases and for variations in probability of selection within and across households, sample data are weighted by household size, cell phone/landline use and demographics (sex, age, race/ethnicity, education, and region) to reflect the true population. Other techniques, including random-digit dialing, replicate subsamples, and systematic respondent selection within households, are used to ensure that the sample is representative.

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Todd Datz

photo: iStock


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health brings together dedicated experts from many disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere. As a community of leading scientists, educators, and students, we work together to take innovative ideas from the laboratory to people’s lives—not only making scientific breakthroughs, but also working to change individual behaviors, public policies, and health care practices. Each year, more than 400 faculty members at Harvard Chan School teach 1,000-plus full-time students from around the world and train thousands more through online and executive education courses. Founded in 1913 as the Harvard-MIT School of Health Officers, the School is recognized as America’s oldest professional training program in public health.