Fewer Americans see climate change as priority than they did a year ago

With issues like the economy and inflation, crime, and the war in Ukraine weighing most on Americans’ minds, the percentage who think climate change needs to be addressed right now has dipped some since one year ago.

This dip in urgency, while not steep, is widespread. Fewer people across age, race, and education groups, as well as partisan stripes, think climate change needs to be addressed right away than thought so a year ago. Still, most Americans do think it’s an issue that needs to be addressed now or least in the next few years. 

A year ago, when more Americans rated the national economy as “good” than they do now, more people saw climate change as urgent. As views of the economy have grown more negative, the percentage saying climate change needs to be dealt with immediately has ebbed. 

Pocketbook issues like the economy and inflation rank as top priorities for Americans. Of the seven issues asked about in our polling, climate change (along with COVID-19 — also  at 39%) ranks at the bottom as “high priority” issues. 

Climate change: A priority issue for Democrats

Climate change is a higher-priority issue for Democrats than it is for Republicans and independents. The issue is not of great concern to most Republicans — 6 in 10 of them call it a “low priority.” About 4 in 10 don’t think it needs to be addressed at all. 

Americans who say climate change should be a high priority (a largely Democratic group) believe it’s something people need to address right now (more than 8 in 10 do).

Historically, Democrats have mostly favored policies and efforts to

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