AJC poll: Most Georgia 6th voters are very concerned about climate change

Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff prepare to debate ahead the June 20 runoff for the 6th Congressional District seat, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Atlanta. BRANDEN CAMP/SPECIAL

Two-thirds of voters in Georgia’s 6th District are very concerned or extremely concerned about climate change, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll conducted after Donald Trump’s decision to pull out from the Paris climate agreement.

The poll was conducted after President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon the 2015 pollution-cutting pact, a move that has sharply divided Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel ahead of the June 20 runoff to represent the suburban Atlanta district.

Handel has praised Trump’s decision to abandon the pollution-cutting agreement aimed at slowing climate change, calling it a “very bad deal for America and Americans.” She said there are “clearly” changes in the climate, but didn’t say whether she believed they were caused by humans.

“I am not a scientist, so I read all of that and take it all in,” she said during their debate last week. “What I am set on is making sure we do the right thing in the right way. I don’t think a single person in this room, regardless of their political persuasion, disagrees with the fact that we must be responsible stewards of our environment. But let’s do it in the right way.”

Ossoff, who has warned that “history will condemn us” for withdrawing from the agreement, criticized Handel’s response.

“Well, neither of us are scientists. That’s why we have scientists,” he said. “And 97 percent of scientists, as well as the military and the intelligence community, agree that climate change is a threat to our security and prosperity and that it’s driven in part by human activity.”

The poll showed voters across-the-board had high levels of concern over climate change across the district, which spans from east Cobb to north DeKalb.

Nearly all Democrats, two-thirds of independents and 43 percent of Republicans said it was a serious concern. Only one in 5 voters said they were “not at all concerned” by climate change.

More recent AJC 6th District coverage:

Jon Ossoff: The making of a Georgia Democratic dynamo

Karen Handel: A ‘fighter’ returns to the political arena

Exhausted 6th District voters prepare for vote

Trump robocall slams ‘tax-raising’ Ossoff in Georgia 6th race

Georgia 6th District: AJC poll shows Ossoff with lead over Handel

Ossoff shatters another fundraising record in Georgia 6th


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