Political Identity Rules: Support of Renewable Energy Jobs and Attitudes on Soil Conservation in Northeastern Ohio

Name: Leah Jorn
Major: Environmental Studies
Minor: Political Science
Advisors: Dr. Erum Haider, Dr. Matt Mariola (second reader)
The purpose of this study was to look at the support of a proposed Act and renewable energy jobs as it varied with endorsement from elite Republicans. This was tested across political groups but mainly focuses on Republican responses. I hypothesized that with elite endorsement Republican approval would increase for both the Act and renewable energy jobs. This study also focuses on attitudes of local farmers on soil conservation and how Republican values and identity politics affect this. These questions were studied through both a survey of approximately 450 people and archival work. The results indicate that elite endorsement did not increase support for either, rather that Democrats and Independents pushed support for the Act even with Republican endorsement. While endorsement does not increase support, within the sample, support for both was relatively high. Both the Act and jobs are predictable by political identification, which is also a stronger predictor than elite endorsement. The archival research found that racial identity politics catalyze political beliefs already held by many local farmers which intensifies their desire to not have farming be governed, which includes how they treat their soil.

Leah will be online to field comments on April 16:
noon-2pm EDT (PST 9-11am, Africa/Europe: early evening) and 4-6 pm EDT (PST 1-3pm, Africa/Europe: late evening)

Posted in I.S. Symposium 2021, Independent Study on April 5, 2021.