Fewer than three percent of those polled said the environment should be the first priority of state lawmakers. That's according to a new survey from Boise State University – which 1,000 Idaho residents took part in a month ago. Those surveyed rate protecting the environment far below economic growth. Respondents were mostly split along party lines, with Democrats more likely to prioritize the environment over Republicans.
The same separation in thinking occurs when it comes to concern over climate change. More than 60 percent of Democrats say they are “very concerned," while about 42 percent of Republicans say they aren’t concerned about climate change at all.
But one area where both sides of the spectrum were aligned was around so-called “all or nothing” debates. When asked whether they agreed that Idaho can have economic development while also protecting the environment, 92 percent said yes.
This is the first comprehensive study of its kind since 2011, and it identified education as the overall highest priority for Idahoans. Boise State plans to conduct the survey annually.
(Skip to page 25 for section on the environment.)
Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
Copyright 2016 Boise State Public Radio