Recent work by the Pew Research Center has illustrated the strikingly partisan nature of public opinion towards the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil derived from Canadian tar sands through the Midwest to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. In aggregate, the public favors building the pipeline by a margin of more than 2-to-1, and amongst self-identified Republicans, Independents and Democrats , a majority was in favor of the pipeline's construction. Nonetheless, support for the project varies dramatically across the political spectrum.
|Pew Research 2013|
Low numbers of “don’t know” responses amongst all groups across all breakdowns, ranging from three to seven percent, denote the high visibility of the Keystone XL issue. This already-high level of public awareness, combined with the manifest partisan divide, suggests that even in today's highly charged and uncompromising political atmosphere, the pipeline represents an especially intractable problem for American policymakers--overall public support notwithstanding.