Somewhere off the coast of Greenland, a polar bear on an unmoored ice float has reason to feel a glimmer of hope: An increasing number of Republican voters are starting to believe that global warming is real—although the percentage of GOP believers doesn’t yet crack the 50-percent threshold nor is it as high as it was only half a decade ago.
According to a new survey from the Pew Research Center, 48 percent of self-identified Republicans said there is “solid evidence” of climate change. That number is up 5 points from last year and 13 points from 2009. Still the figure is lower than what it was in 2006 and 2007, and right about where it stood in 2008.
Here’s Pew with more:
A majority of moderate and liberal Republicans (58%) say there is solid evidence of warming, including 38% who say it is mostly due to human activity. By contrast, only 43% of conservative Republicans say there is evidence of warming, while 51% say there is not. However, more conservative Republicans say there is evidence of warming than did so last year. In 2011, just 31% said the earth has been warming while 60% said there was no solid evidence of warming.
Eighty-five percent of Democrats and 65 percent of independents, meanwhile said they say they see solid evidence of global warming, as do about 2 in 3 Americans overall.
Other tidbits disclosed in the study include the fact that 56 percent of Democrats believe climate change to be a big problem, compared to 19 percent of Republicans, with 63 percent of intended Obama voters attributing the main cause to human activity. Conversely, while 42 percent of Romney voters admit to the overwhelming evidence of global warming, only 18 percent believe that human activity is the cause.