walter russell mead peter berger lilia shevtsova adam garfinkle andrew a. michta
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Voters Want the Keystone Pipeline

After stalling for months on the construction of the Keystone Pipeline, President Obama has partially given in to his critics, pledging to expedite the approval of the southern portion of the project.  A new Gallup poll helps explain this new sudden reversal: Americans overwhelmingly approve of the pipeline, by a margin of 57 percent to 29 percent.

Though Republican support is given, even Democrats support the project by a healthy six-point margin. Meanwhile, independent voters strongly support the measure 51 percent to 35 percent. The regional breakdown looks just as bad for the President. Polling in the South and especially the Midwest—the regions through which the pipeline would run and which are home to several swing states—saw Keystone supporters outnumber opponents by more than thirty percent. Even in the environmentally conscious East and West, polls revealed sizable majorities in support.

The more data that comes out, the more the president’s old Keystone position looks like a political loser. Small wonder he’s changing course.

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  • vdorta

    I’m sorry, but he’s not changing course, at least not yet. I understand the southern part of the pipeline does not require presidential approval.

  • David Bennett

    Many other articles on the pipeline have stated that no federal approvals are necessary for the southern portion of the pipeline. If this is true than this is another case of Obama taking credit for something that he has nothing to do with, like our recent increase in crude oil production and the recent, slight improvement in the economy.

  • ndmonty

    Professor Mead, with regret I believe you are – incorrect? The ONLY portion of the pipeline that needs federal approval is that part that crosses international boundries. That part is still on hold thanks to that h&pocrite in the white house. Apparently there weren’t enough campaign contributors to clear the path for this obvious boon to our economy.

  • http://www.everymanblog.com Everyman

    Indeed, it strikes me as at least intellectually disingenuous, if not dishonest, to fail to note, as others here have, that the president is once more taking credit where no credit is due, and, to put it as gently as circumstances permit, hoping to mislead the electorate . . . yet again. We expect more and better from you, professor.

  • Kris

    I can only hope that said President ends up losing both sides.

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