Question Wording: Opinions in the States

This page presents question wordings for graphics on the “Opinions in the States” page. Question wording has varied throughout the years, and the variations are reflected below.

Graph: Percentage of each state who believed global warming has been happening

2012-2020: What is your personal opinion? Do you think that the world’s temperature probably has been going up over the past 100 years, or do you think this probably has not been happening?  

2012: What is your personal opinion? Do you think that the world’s temperature probably has been going up slowly over the past 100 years, or do you think this probably has not been happening?

1997-2011: You may have heard about the idea that the world’s temperature may have been going up slowly over the past 100 years. What is your personal opinion on this – do you think this has probably been happening, or do you think it probably has not been happening?

Graph: Percentage of each state who believed that the earth will warm in the future

2012-2020: If nothing is done to prevent it, do you think the world’s temperature probably will go up over the next 100 years, or do you think the world’s temperature probably will not go up over the next 100 years?

2012: If nothing is done to prevent it, do you think the world’s temperature probably will go up slowly over the next 100 years, or do you think the world’s temperature probably will not go up slowly over the next 100 years?

2010-2011: If nothing is done to prevent it, do you think the world’s temperature probably will go up slowly over the next 100 years, or do you think the world’s temperature probably will not go up slowly over the next 100 years?

Graph: Percentage of each state who believed past warming has been caused by humans

2012-2020:  Do you think that the increase in the world’s temperature over the past 100 years was caused mostly by things people did, mostly by natural causes, or about equally by things people did and by natural causes? 

2012:  Do you think a rise in the world’s temperature is being caused mostly by things people do, mostly by natural causes, or about equally by things people do and by natural causes? 

2012-2020:  Assuming it’s happening, do you think a rise in the world’s temperature would be caused mostly by things people do, mostly by natural causes, or about equally by things people do and by natural causes?

2012:  If the world’s temperature did increase over the past 100 years, do you think this increase was caused mostly by things people did, mostly by natural causes, or about equally by things people did and by natural causes?

1997-2011:  Do you think a rise in the world’s temperature is being caused mostly by things people do, mostly by natural causes, or about equally by things people do and by natural causes?

1997-2011:  Assuming it’s happening, do you think a rise in the world’s temperature would be caused mostly by things people do, mostly by natural causes, or about equally by things people do and by natural causes?

Graph: Percentage of each state who believed warming will be a serious problem for the United States

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2012-2020:  If nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious of a problem do you think it will be for THE UNITED STATES – very serious, somewhat serious, not so serious, or not serious at all?  

2012:  Assuming it’s happening, if nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious of a problem do you think it would be for THE UNITED STATES – very serious, somewhat serious, not so serious, or not serious at all?

1997-2011: If nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious of a problem do you think it will be for THE UNITED STATES – very serious, somewhat serious, not so serious, or not serious at all?

1997-2011: Assuming it’s happening, if nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious of a problem do you think it would be for THE UNITED STATES – very serious, somewhat serious, not so serious, or not serious at all?

Graph: Percentage of each state who believed warming will be a serious problem for the world

2012-2020: If nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious of a problem do you think it will be for THE WORLD – very serious, somewhat serious, not so serious, or not serious at all?

2012: Assuming it’s happening, if nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious of a problem do you think it would be for THE WORLD – very serious, somewhat serious, not so serious, or not serious at all?

1997-2011: If nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious of a problem do you think it will be for THE WORLD – very serious, somewhat serious, not so serious, or not serious at all?

1997-2011: Assuming it’s happening, if nothing is done to reduce global warming in the future, how serious of a problem do you think it would be for THE WORLD – very serious, somewhat serious, not so serious, or not serious at all?

Graph: Percentage of each state who believed 5 degrees of warming will be bad

2011-2020: If the world’s average temperature is about five degrees Fahrenheit higher 75 years from now than it is now, overall, would you say that would be good, bad, or neither good nor bad?

1997-2010: Scientists use the term “global warming” to refer to the idea that the world’s average temperature may be about five degrees Fahrenheit higher in 75 years than it is now.  Overall, would you say that if the world’s average temperature is five degrees Fahrenheit higher in 75 years than it is now, would that be good, bad, or neither good nor bad?  

Graph: Percentage of each state who believed government should do more to address global warming

2009-2020: How much do you think the U.S. government should do about global warming?  A great deal, quite a bit, some, a little, or nothing?

2009-2012: How much do you think the U.S. government is doing now to deal with global warming?  A great deal, quite a bit, some, a little, or nothing?

2008: Do you think the federal government should do more than it’s doing now to try to deal with global warming, should do less than it’s doing now, or is it doing about the right amount?

Graph: Percentage of each state for whom warming was extremely important personally

1997-2020: How important is the issue of global warming to you personally – extremely important, very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important?

Graph: Percentage of each state who said they are highly knowledgeable about global warming

1997-2020: How much do you feel you know about global warming – a lot, a moderate amount, a little, or nothing?

Graph: Percentage of each state who believed the United States should take action on climate change regardless of what other countries do

2008-2015: Do you think the United States should take action on global warming only if other major industrial countries such as China and India agree to do equally effective things, that the United States should take action even if these other countries do less, or that the United States should not take action on this at all?

Graph: Percentage of each state who believed the government should limit businesses’ greenhouse gas emissions

2012-2020: As you may have heard, greenhouse gases are thought to cause global warming. In your opinion do you think the government should or should not limit the amount of greenhouse gasses that U.S. businesses put out?

2008-2011: Some people believe that the United States government should limit the amount of air pollution that U.S. businesses can produce. Other people believe that the government should not limit air pollution from U.S. businesses. What about you? Do you think the government should or should not limit air pollution from U.S. businesses?

Graph: Percentage of each state who favored the government requiring/encouraging power plants to lower emissions

2020: For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law to try to reduce future global warming, should encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Each of these changes could increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Lowering the amount of greenhouse gases that power plants are allowed to release into the air?

2012-2018: For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law to try to reduce future global warming, should encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Each of these changes would increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Lowering the amount of greenhouse gases that power plants are allowed to release into the air?

1997-2011: For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law, encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Lowering the amount of greenhouse gases that power plants are allowed to release into the air?

Graph: Percentage of each state who favored a national cap-and-trade program

2015-2020: There’s a proposed system called ‘cap-and-trade.’ The government would issue permits limiting the amount of greenhouse gases companies can put out. Companies that did not use all their permits could sell them to other companies. Companies that need more permits can buy them, or these companies can pay money to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that other people or organizations put out. Economists say that this system is likely to cause companies to figure out the cheapest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Would you favor or oppose a cap-and-trade system to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that companies put out?

2013: There’s a proposed system called “cap and trade.” The government would sell permits to companies limiting the amount of greenhouse gases they can put out. Companies that do not use all their permits could sell them to other companies. Companies that need more permits can buy them, or these companies can pay money to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that other people or organizations put out. Economists say that this system is likely to cause companies to figure out the cheapest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The money the government makes from selling the permits would be returned to all Americans equally by reducing the amount of income taxes they pay. Would you favor or oppose this cap and trade system?

2013: There’s a proposed system called “cap and trade.” The government would give permits to companies limiting the amount of greenhouse gases they can put out. Companies that do not use all their permits could sell them to other companies. Companies that need more permits can buy them, or these companies can pay money to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that other people or organizations put out. Economists say that this system is likely to cause companies to figure out the cheapest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Would you favor or oppose this cap and trade system? 2013: There’s a proposed system called “cap and trade.” The government would issue permits limiting the amount of greenhouse gases companies can put out. Companies that did not use all their permits could sell them to other companies. Companies that need more permits can buy them, or these companies can pay money to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that other people or organizations put out. This will cause companies to figure out the cheapest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Would you favor or oppose a cap and trade system to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that companies put out?

2010-2012: There’s a proposed system called “cap and trade.” The government would issue permits limiting the amount of greenhouse gases companies can put out. Companies that did not use all their permits could sell them to other companies. Companies that need more permits can buy them, or these companies can pay money to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that other people or organizations put out. This will cause companies to figure out the cheapest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This type of permit system has worked successfully in the past to reduce the air pollution that companies put out. For example, in 1990, the federal government passed a law like this, called the Clean Air Act, which caused companies to put out a lot less of the air pollution that causes acid rain. Would you favor or oppose a cap and trade system to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that companies put out?

2009: There’s a proposed system called “cap and trade.” The government would issue permits limiting the amount of greenhouse gases companies can put out. Companies that did not use all their permits could sell them to other companies. Companies that need more permits can buy them, or these companies can pay money to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that other people or organizations put out. This will cause companies to figure out the cheapest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Would you favor or oppose this system?

2008: There’s a proposed system called “cap and trade.” The government would issue permits limiting the amount of greenhouse gases companies can put out. Companies that did not use all their permits could sell them to other companies. The idea is that many companies would find ways to put out less greenhouse gases, because that would be cheaper than buying permits. Would you support or oppose this system?

Graph: Percentage of each state who favored the government requiring/encouraging higher fuel economy standards

2020: For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law to try to reduce future global warming, should encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Each of these changes could increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Building cars that use less gasoline?

2013-2018: For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law to try to reduce future global warming, should encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Each of these changes would increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Building cars that use less gasoline?

2012:  For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law, encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Each of these changes would increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Building cars that use less gasoline?

1997-2011: For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law, encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Building cars that use less gasoline?

Graph: Percentage of each state who favored the government requiring/encouraging all-electric vehicles

2013-2015: For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law to try to reduce future global warming, should encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Each of these changes would increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Building cars that run completely on electricity?

2012:  For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law, encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Each of these changes would increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Building cars that run completely on electricity?

1997-2011: For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law, encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Building cars that run completely on electricity?

Graph: Percentage of each state who favored the government requiring/encouraging appliances that use less electricity

2020: For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law to try to reduce future global warming, should encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Each of these changes could increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Building air conditioners, refrigerators, and other appliances that use less electricity?

2013-2018: For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law to try to reduce future global warming, should encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Each of these changes would increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Building air conditioners, refrigerators, and other appliances that use less electricity?

2012:  For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law, encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Each of these changes would increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Building air conditioners, refrigerators, and other appliances that use less electricity?

1997-2011: For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law, encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Building air conditioners, refrigerators, and other appliances that use less electricity?

Graph: Percentage of each state who favored the government requiring/encouraging energy-efficient buildings

2020: For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law to try to reduce future global warming, should encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Each of these changes could increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Building new homes and offices that use less energy for heating and cooling?

2013-2018: For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law to try to reduce future global warming, should encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Each of these changes would increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Building new homes and offices that use less energy for heating and cooling?

2012:  For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law, encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Each of these changes would increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Building new homes and offices that use less energy for heating and cooling?

1997-2011: For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law, encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Building new homes and offices that use less energy for heating and cooling?

Graph: Percentage of each state who favored tax breaks to produce renewable energy

2012-2020:  For each of the following, please tell me whether you favor or oppose it as a way for the federal government to try to reduce future global warming. Each of these changes would increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Do you favor or oppose the federal government giving companies tax breaks to produce more electricity from water, wind, and solar power?

1997-2011: For the next items, please tell me whether you favor or oppose it as a way for the federal government to try to reduce future global warming. Do you favor or oppose the federal government giving companies tax breaks to produce more electricity from water, wind, and solar power?

Graph: Percentage of each state who favored tax breaks to reduce air pollution from coal

2012-2020:  For each of the following, please tell me whether you favor or oppose it as a way for the federal government to try to reduce future global warming. Each of these changes would increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Do you favor or oppose the federal government giving tax breaks to companies that burn coal to make electricity if they use new methods to reduce the air pollution being released from their smokestacks?

1997-2011: For the next items, please tell me whether you favor or oppose it as a way for the federal government to try to reduce future global warming. Do you favor or oppose the federal government giving tax breaks to companies that burn coal to make electricity if they use new methods to put the air pollution they generate into underground storage areas instead of letting that air pollution go up the smokestacks at their factories?

Graph: Percentage of each state who favored tax breaks to build nuclear power plants

2012-2020:  For each of the following, please tell me whether you favor or oppose it as a way for the federal government to try to reduce future global warming. Each of these changes would increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Do you favor or oppose the federal government giving companies tax breaks to build nuclear power plants?

1997-2011: For the next items, please tell me whether you favor or oppose it as a way for the federal government to try to reduce future global warming. Do you favor or oppose the federal government giving companies tax breaks to build nuclear power plants?

Graph: Percentage of each state who favored increased consumption taxes on electricity

2012-2020:  For each of the following, please tell me whether you favor or oppose it as a way for the federal government to try to reduce future global warming. Each of these changes would increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Do you favor or oppose the federal government increasing taxes on electricity so people use less of it?

1997-2011: For the next items, future global warming. Do you favor or oppose the federal government increasing taxes on electricity so people use less of it?

Graph: Percentage of each state who favored increased consumption taxes on gasoline

2012-2020:  For each of the following, please tell me whether you favor or oppose it as a way for the federal government to try to reduce future global warming. Each of these changes would increase the amount of money that you pay for things you buy. Do you favor or oppose the federal government increasing taxes on gasoline so people either drive less, or buy cars that use less gas?

1997-2011: For the next items, please tell me for each one whether it’s something the government should require by law, encourage with tax breaks but not require, or stay out of entirely. Do you favor or oppose the federal government increasing taxes on gasoline so people either drive less, or buy cars that use less gas?