Only 50% of Americans Have a Favorable View of Al Gore
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."
One of the reasons why Al Gore's communication campaign has had limited success in activating the American public on climate change is that only half of adults have a favorable opinion of the former Vice President. Not only do pre-conceived notions about Gore serve as a perceptual screen in interpreting his climate crisis message, such hardened opinions don't augur well for the many of us who have been hoping that Gore would run for president. Indeed, as a recent Gallup analysis reviews, polls from Marist and Pew indicate that half of Americans would never consider voting for Gore as president. This data was collected before the Nobel prize announcement, but it would be overly optimistic to believe that the event will shift public perspectives that have been relatively stable for most of this decade.
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