A recent Public Policy poll suggests that green tech energy considerations will have an impact on the elections in a few weeks. The poll, with a statistically significant number of likely voter respondents of 22,412, suggests that Romney will have a hard time making up the gap between the likely voters who think his green energy positions are (essentially) not as green as Obama’s. This debate might play a key part in the elections in a few weeks. Sorry to break this to Public Policy Polling group, but green tech is not that important right now.
We are big fans of listening to constituents, in our case our customers, and applaud the Public Policy poll for getting 22,412 likely voters to respond to this poll. However, the premise and the poll make a huge assumption about how big of an issue green energy is in the mind of said likely voters.
A few people I have spoken to are one-issue or single issue voters and acknowledge this in conversation. Where these people have shared their ‘one-issue’ they have been quick to point out that the economy is the most important issue. Same-sex marriage, Immigration reform, unemployment and taxes have all come up in conversation, but not one of the 30 or so friends I have spoken to have mentioned energy. Before you scream ‘statistically insignificant’ I admit I am using a small
sample size. This does not invalidate that focalism (the tendency to rely or anchor on one piece of information when making a decision/providing a response) plays a huge part in the Public Policy poll and not in my conversations.
The difference between my unscientific survey and the Public Policy Polling group’s survey is that people will answer the question you ask them, which is what PPP have done, but will express their own views when the issue is better framed. I asked people about main issues for voting without biasing the views of the respondents. If you ask consumers or voters why they vote they will give you individual, and I dare say truer, views than if you frame it as ‘will you vote for Romney or Obama regarding their views on taxes?’ for example.
At a SXSW panel a few months ago a former Google PowerMeter employee mentioned that Americans only think about their electricity for 6 minutes in a year. Unfortunately, I do not have any links or sources to back this data up. At Power2Switch we know that consumers are not as informed about energy, sustainability, actions that aid sustainable living, energy sources, energy choice and all things related to this very critical sector and so we don’t think energy will be playing too much of a decision making factor in these elections.