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.