Monday, April 15, 2024

Independents & Climate Change

Orange County CoastOrange County Coast

Independent party identification is rapidly increasing nationally and in Orange County. Independents in the U.S. have risen from about a third of the electorate early in this century to 43 percent today while both Democratic & Republican identification declined from a third to 27 percent, according to Gallup’s latest poll.

Locally, Orange County voter registration historically Republican dominated, has also shifted to a near tie among partisans – Democrats 37 percent, Republicans 33 percent, with no party preference climbing to 28 percent from 15 percent in 2004.

In an Orange County survey conducted in August 2023, residents of different party preferences had similar views on top two environmental problems in the County (see table below) which were wildfire and water supply. However, their views divide dramatically related to climate change, the third most frequently rated issue. There was a 43 percent difference between Democrats and Republicans in the highly polarized issue, with Democrats much more likely to rate it a top problem (65%) and Republicans much less (22%). At 38 percent, No Party Preference are near the mean (42%) but leaned toward the Republican view (see table).

Three Top Environmental Problems

The survey concerning fire prevention and mitigation was conducted for an association of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups by Ciruli Associates with YouGov America. The survey of 1000 residents was fielded from July 20 to August 27, 2023. It had a margin of error of 4.8 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

For more information contact Floyd Ciruli at

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