After a year of political attacks, you might think the only remaining solar supporters would be left-leaning Democrats. A recent poll released today by Hart Research and SEIA indicates just how wrong that assumption turns out to be.
Here are just a few of what I think are the most important conclusions that reflect the strong bipartisan appeal of solar (infographic here):
- Almost all voters (92%) think it is important for the U.S. to develop and use solar power, including 84% of Republicans.
- Translating that sentiment into policy, 78% of all voters (63% of Republicans) think solar deserves federal government support via tax credits or financial incentives.
- Solar enjoys the highest favorability of any energy source deserving government support, with 64% of all voters ranking solar top of the list.
So what do the numbers tell us? First, the attacks aren't working. Democrats and Republicans alike recognize the value of solar energy and still overwhelmingly favor government support to help solar gain a foothold.
Second, it suggests a strategy based on bashing solar may shore up the right-base but won't win moderate votes. In fact, the survey found that swing voters in general were slightly more inclined to view solar favorably than all voters combined.
The most interesting thing about the survey to me was that resposdents gave solar top marks even though the majority still believe solar was "too expensive" (66%) and "not practical" (54%). Just think what those favorability rankings will look like when we get the word out that solar is increasingly affordable and mainstream.