Poll: Rural Americans support candidates who support RFS

By Ann Bailey | November 05, 2015

It would behoove congressional candidates in the Midwest to support the renewable fuel standard (RFS), according to results from a National Farmers Union poll.

The NFU announced Thursday that poll results of more than 4,000 respondents in six Midwestern congressional districts showed rural voters were more likely to vote for candidates who support the RFS. Given the results of the poll, conducted Oct. 5-7 in congressional districts in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and South Dakota, Pres. Barack Obama it’s important not only for the good of the environment, but also for Democratic candidates that he get the RFS back on track, Johnson said.

The Obama administration will set the volume obligations for the RFS in the next several weeks. The poll showed support for the RFS outweighed opposition in five of the six congressional districts polled.

 “We want the President to understand that this is not only the right policy for the environment but also will do damage to his party,” he said. “Almost all of us in agriculture have been strong supporters of the RFS. If the President make the wrong decision he is likely going to do an awful lot of damage to his candidates.”

In addition, not supporting the RFS would give leverage to the claims of organizations that accuse Obama of being a hypocrite because he is a proponent of legislation that protects the environment, but doesn’t support the RFS.

Support of the RFS likely won’t be a magic elixir for candidates, but it “is a real good multi-vitamin,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick, Third Way Clean Energy Program deputy director. Third Way provided an analysis of the poll, titled “Strong RFS support offers low-risk opportunity for Democrats to connect with voters they need to retake majority.” 

“If you are going to have a real tough race, why don’t you take the multi-vitamin?” Fitzpatrick said.