Gore Enjoys Slight Boost in Favorability Ratings
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
When Inconvenient Truth was released in 2006, Gallup polling showed that less than a majority of Americans had a favorable view of Al Gore. Yet just following his Nobel Prize win at the end of 2007, Gallup polling showed that this favorability rating had jumped to 58%. Call it the "Nobel bounce."
A recently released Pew survey shows that Gore's approval rating continues to hover just over the majority mark at 53%. Notably, in Pew tracking, as shown above, Gore has gained 11% in the "very favorable" category among Dems and 19% in the "very favorable" category among the college educated. However, despite an overall 5% gain among Republicans, his favorability rating still registers at less than a third of Republicans (29%), suggesting again that as the WE campaign recognizes, spokespeople other than Gore are needed if his climate change message is going to break through beyond the left-leaning Democratic base.
To put the Gore ratings in context, consider that the Pew survey finds that Condi Rice enjoys a 66% favorability, Defense Secretary Robert Gates registers a 62%, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates scores a 69%.
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