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New Poll Suggests Illinois Voters See Environmental Issues As More Important Than Economic Growth

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

A new poll from Southern Illinois University's Paul Simon Public Policy Institute had surprising results for environmentalists. 

The institute surveyed one thousand registered voters earlier this month, and 64% said they prioritized the environment as an issue.  In contrast, 27% said economic growth should come first.   The results took Illinois Environmental Council Director Jennifer Walling by surprise. 

"I have not seen a poll that so strongly prioritized environmental protection, so that is very interesting," she said. 

Walling says most of the poll's other results mirror what she's seen in other credible surveys.  These include a majority belief that humans are causing global warming.
Conservatives and older voters were more likely to disagree with that statement.  But the Institute's pollsters spotted a trend indicating a more environmental Republican Party in the future.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.