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Belief in climate change is growing among Florida Republicans, an FAU survey shows

Climate change has become a major issue on both sides of the political spectrum in Florida, according to an ongoing survey by Florida Atlantic University.

Five times over the past two years, FAU has polled 1,400 adults across the state.

The most recent survey shows the percentage of Florida Republicans who believe climate change is real has doubled to 88% since 2019.

In 2019, the number of Florida Republicans who believed climate change was real was 44%.

"The climate change issue may therefore no longer be an effective campaign trail theme for the state’s party leaders as both parties gear up for the mid-term elections," the survey read.

University of South Florida political science professor Edwin Benton was not involved in the survey, but he says the numbers are likely due to more public education.

“I think more and more, as information resonates with the American public, and even globally, people are saying, ‘you know, there may be something to this, maybe this is a serious matter, and we should stop blowing it off,’” said Benton.

Benton said media coverage is a key factor in people’s exposure to climate change information.

He also said these results aren’t surprising for a state like Florida, considering its population growth.

The state is currently the third most populated state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“One of the chief concerns in our state, because of that, is growth management,” said Benton. “The lack of growth management that is not well-planned can lead to greater pollution.”

Growth management is used by local and state governments to manage the effects that development has on communities.

As a whole, Floridians also surpass the national belief that global warming is real by 20%.

About 92% of Floridians believe in climate change, while the number of people who believe in climate change nationwide is 72%.

“I think it's finally sinking into the public that we need to pay more attention to this,” said Benton. “There's something to it, and scientists may have something here.”

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Jorgelina Manna-Rea