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Poll: Key Senate Races in 2014 for Keystone XL

Energy policy is emerging as a key issue for voters likely to participate in the 2014 midterm elections. 

Public opinion polling conducted in mid-February for Consumer Energy Alliance by Hickman Analytics, Inc. shows energy issues such as the Keystone XL Pipeline at the forefront of voters’ minds.

More than three-quarters of likely voters polled in four key states, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina, said they will consider a candidate’s position on energy issues, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline, before deciding whom they will support.

How important are energy issues?

  Important Not Important
Arkansas 76% 19%
Colorado 84% 15%
Louisiana 78% 16%
North Carolina    78% 17%


Voters favor building the Keystone XL Pipeline.

 

  Favor Oppose
Arkansas 70% 16%
Colorado 66% 23%
Louisiana 67% 12%
North Carolina 67% 16%


With the exception of Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado the Democrat incumbents, Sen. Mark Pryor, Sen. Mary Landrieu, and Sen. Kay Hagan, all publicly support building the Keystone XL Pipeline.

From the voters’ perspective, publicly supporting Keystone XL is not enough. Voter enthusiasm for these candidates dampens if the President rejects the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Approximately half of the respondents who support building Keystone XL said the president denying the construction permit would deter their support for a Democrat incumbent.

 

  Less Likely to SupportDemocratic Incumbent
Arkansas 46%
Colorado 52%
Louisiana 45%
North Carolina 49%

 Arkansas

Little Rock, AR based Welspun Corp developed half of the 875 miles of pipeline that will be used to complete the last leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As expected, there is strong support, 70% to 16% in Arkansas for KXL.

Arkansas has one of the closest Senate races in the country with candidates polling even at 46% among likely voters. Fifty-nine percent of those who favor Mark Pryor want to see Keystone XL built. Senator Pryor was among the first to support building Keystone XL.  Despite his support for Keystone XL, 46% of those polled would be less likely to vote for him if the President rejects the permit.

Who would you vote for if the election were today?

Mark Pryor Tom Cotton
46% 46%

Colorado

Colorado supports building the Keystone XL Pipeline by a margin of 66% to 23% with a plurality of incumbent Mark Udall’s supporters backing construction (43% to 39%). Fifty-two percent (52%) of Keystone XL supporters in Colorado would be more likely to abandon Mark Udall if President Obama denies the Keystone XL construction permit.  Among undecided voters, an important category in any election, the split is just as steep: 46% are less likely to support Udall if Keystone XL is rejected.

Who would you vote for if the election were today?

Mark Udall Ken Buck
46% 42%

Louisiana

Louisiana supports building the Keystone XL Pipeline by a wide margin, 67% to 12%.  U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu has been a vocal advocate of the Keystone XL project, a strong supporter of oil and natural gas development and has just taken the helm of the Senate’s powerful Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Forty-five percent of Keystone XL supporters polled said they would be less likely to support Mary Landrieu’s reelection if Keystone XL is not permitted.

Who would you vote for if the election were today?

Mary Landrieu Bill Cassidy
42% 46%

North Carolina

Two-thirds of likely voters in North Carolina back the Keystone XL Pipeline, 67% to 16%. U.S. Senator Kay Hagan is being challenged for re-election by Thom Tillis, who is currently the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives. Hagan holds a small lead among likely voters, 45% to 41%. Of those who support Hagan, 51% also support the Keystone XL Pipeline. Significantly, 49% of those polled indicate they will be less likely to vote for Sen. Hagen if President Obama rejects the pipeline.

Who would you vote for if the election were today?

Kay Hagan Thom Tillis
45% 41%

Conclusion

The Keystone XL Pipeline has been debated as a political issue since it was first proposed in 2008. For those voters who have indicated energy issues are important to them there is a shift in how they are measuring their decision on which candidates they will vote for in the 2014 elections. It is not enough for a candidate to support Keystone XL, voters are now looking for President Obama to act.

Methodology

Hickman Analytics conducted the four polls for Consumer Energy Alliance. In Arkansas, 400 likely 2014 general election voters were surveyed via telephone or cell phone between February 17th and 20th. In Louisiana, 404 likely 2014 general election voters were surveyed via telephone or cell phone between February 17th and 24thIn Colorado, 400 likely 2014 general election voters were surveyed via telephone or cell phone between February 17th and 20thIn Colorado, 400 likely 2014 general election voters were surveyed via telephone or cell phone between February 17th and 20thEach poll carries a 4.9% margin of error.

 Questionnaire & Tables 

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