Consumer Energy Alliance’s David Holt is blogging at National Journal’s Energy Insiders about the role energy issues will play in the 2014 U.S. Senate races:
Candidates who engage voters on energy issues will win in November.
Polling conducted for Consumer Energy Alliance this spring in key U.S. Senate races found that energy issues, including the Keystone XL Pipeline, are very important in terms of how someone will vote. Support in the nine states ranged from 67% of voters in Kentucky to 84% in Colorado, with the other seven states seeing support above 70%.
Keystone XL is not the only energy issue startling voters.
Control of the U.S. Senate could hinge on the outcome of two sleeper races in Iowa and New Hampshire. Voters in these states are connecting the cost of their electricity and home heating bills with who they will vote for in November. In Iowa, 55% of voters said they support generating electricity using coal-fired power plants. In New Hampshire, 72% of voters said they support expanding existing natural gas pipelines or building new ones to increase natural gas supplies for electricity generation and home heating.
When it comes to a debate over the cost of basic necessities such as heat or electricity voters will not give candidates much wiggle room. The candidate who can make the case that their vote will support policies that make prices affordable is going to win over their electorate.
Energy is an issue on the mind of voters as they head into the voting booth.
In Colorado, 52% of voters said they would be less likely to support incumbent Democrat Mark Udall if the president denied Keystone XL. In North Carolina, where Kay Hagan faces Republican Thom Tillis, 49% of voters say they would be less likely to support Hagan if Keystone XL is denied.
Polling shows energy issues are important to voters. The campaigns for U.S. Senate will show which candidates are capable of communicating to energy consumers.