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Poll in key swing state shows that Iowans support clean energy despite politically motivated attacks on the industry

Washington, DC—A new poll from the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) shows that candidates’ positions on clean energy was important to Iowa voters in the 2012 election. The survey demonstrates that voters in Iowa understand renewable energy’s contributions to their state and that opponents of clean energy who spread misrepresentative information about the industry for political gain were unsuccessful in swaying voters.

“Policymakers take note: swing state voters support clean, renewable energy,” said Vice Admiral (ret.) Dennis McGinn, President and CEO of ACORE. “It is long past time to end the vilification of an industry that is creating jobs, attracting private investment, and contributing to our economic recovery. Clean energy is a business, not a political football, and it should be treated as a business.”

Iowa presidential election voters said they would most likely to encourage wind power as their energy source (69 percent), followed by solar power (47 percent) and natural gas (47 percent). Coal ranked fourth for voters, but three-quarters (75 percent) agreed that “rather than using more coal, we should move toward cleaner sources of energy.” This view is one that has widespread agreement in the state, including across party lines as Independents (76 percent), Republicans (60 percent) and an overwhelming majority of Democrats concur (90 percent).

Tax credits, including the wind energy PTC, continue to be a subject of debate in Washington, DC, and three-quarters of Iowans who participated in the election are more likely to support a candidate who advocates continuing government investment in the development of cleaner energy sources. A similar 76 percent are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports requiring utilities to get a greater share of their electricity from renewable sources.

These findings were largely consistent with similar polls in Colorado, Ohio, and Virginia that found that energy was an important factor for voters in the 2012 election. Energy eclipsed perennial issues such as abortion and was on par with taxes and foreign policy. Voters preferred to encourage solar, wind, and natural gas rather than coal and other energy sources, and majorities in four states support continued government investment in clean energy and requirements for utilities to increase use of renewable energy.

“The Hawkeye State is home to abundant clean energy resources, and Iowa voters understand first-hand the benefits they bring to our communities,” said Doug Berven, VP of Corporate Affairs for POET. “Iowans support the clean energy industry, even when opponents spend millions of dollars demonizing the industry to continue the status quo. Thankfully this year and in years past, presidential candidates on both side of the aisle have endorsed the Renewable Fuel Standard and renewable energy in general”

The bipartisan research team of Public Opinion Strategies (R) and Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (D) conducted 400 interviews on Wednesday, November 7th, with voters in Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, and Virginia who cast ballots in Tuesday's Presidential election. Interviews were conducted on landline and wireless phones. The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 4.9%; margins of error for subgroups within the sample will be higher.

To learn more about the poll results, click here:

About ACORE:
ACORE, a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization, is dedicated to building a secure and prosperous America with clean, renewable energy. ACORE seeks to advance renewable energy through finance, policy, technology, and market development and is concentrating its member focus in 2012 on National Defense & Security, Power Generation & Infrastructure, and Transportation. Additional information is available at


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The American Council On Renewable Energy

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