In 2009, when the Great Recession took hold of the United States, Americans reversed a long-running trend in polling: For the first time since Gallup first asked the question in the 1980s, more Americans said they favored economic growth over protecting the environment.
In a new survey released today, Gallup reports that trend has reversed itself, with 50 percent of Americans saying they agree with this statement: "protection of the environment should be given priority even at the risk of curbing economic growth."
"Democrats and Republicans are sharply divided as to whether the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of curbing economic growth. Two-thirds of Democrats say the environment should be prioritized higher, while about one-third of Republicans say the same thing. This is the largest partisan gulf since 1997, mainly as result of the sharp rise among Democrats prioritizing the environment higher than economic growth. Both parties give higher priority to the environment than they did prior to the 2008-2009 economic recession."