The barrage of Republican attacks on climate change legislation appears to be having an impact: the GOP rank and file is more skeptical that global warming is real.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll released this afternoon said that the belief that climate change is happening has plummeted among Republicans to 54 percent now from the 76 percent peak in 2006.
Along with more skepticism among independents, that is driving an overall drop in the percentage of Americans who believe in global warming to 72 percent from 80 in the past year, the poll found.
A majority of all respondents still support a national cap on greenhouse gas emissions, the key piece of the sweeping climate change legislation that Democrats are trying to push through Congress. And 55 percent of respondents believe the United States should curb its carbon output even if major developing nations such as China and India do less.
Republicans say the legislation would dramatically raise energy costs, threatening to stall the economic recovery.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.