New Poll: Connecticut Voters Overwhelmingly
Oppose State Ban of Gas-Powered Vehicles
--Residents want to keep their freedom of choice, and oppose potential statewide measures to outlaw traditional cars and engines--
Hartford, CT – A new poll conducted in Connecticut shows that voters across the state overwhelmingly oppose a potential ban that would make new vehicles sold equipped with internal combustion engines (ICE) illegal in the coming years.
59% of registered voters across the state that were surveyed in December say that they oppose a potential ban on the sale of new gas-and diesel-powered cars and trucks, with some such proposals suggesting going into effect as soon as 2035. According to the poll, commissioned by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), 63% of nonpartisan (independent) voters oppose a ban on internal combustion engines.
The cost of living and rising prices, coupled with the additional costs that electric vehicles would add to Connecticut families’ budgets, is a major reason cited for voters’ opposition to the ban. 69% of voters surveyed believe the measure would hurt low-income families the most. Among the priorities facing the state, 26% of voters surveyed said taxes were the most important issue of concern; followed by 16% citing rising inflation and high costs, 13% focused on an unstable economy, the availability of jobs, and 9% focused on affordability of housing – meaning current economic issues comprise 64% of Connecticut voters’ priorities.
67% of voters surveyed agree that electric vehicles also pose other threats to the environment, including the mining and extraction of rare minerals from the earth used to create batteries for electric vehicles.
56% of voters surveyed believe this is an extreme example of government overreach that removes affordable choices from Connecticut’s families, dictating what consumers must buy.
More than half of voters surveyed, at 51%, say they are less likely to vote for an elected official who supports a ban on new gas-powered cars, including 56% among independent or nonpartisan voters.
“Connecticut residents are already dealing with the high prices of goods, taxes, and the challenges of today’s economy.” said Karen Bailey-Chapman, Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs for SEMA. “That’s why they overwhelmingly believe that a government ban on new sales of gas- and diesel-powered vehicles will only add to their already heavy burdens, saddling those who can least afford it with new costs and taxes, and failing to solve the environmental problems it should purportedly help. Connecticut voters want the freedom to make the best choices for their families and their pocketbooks – not government dictating what consumers must buy or what technology we use to achieve lower emissions.”
According to an economic impact report released by SEMA in the fall, Connecticut is also home to a vibrant specialty automotive aftermarket economy. The industry supports $3.79 billion in economic impact in Connecticut – including supporting 13,323 jobs, $1.26 billion in total wages and benefits, and $195 million in state and local taxes paid. This substantial economic impact and the 13,000+ jobs across Connecticut would be at serious risk with a ban on traditional vehicles, which support the industry.
The poll was conducted by RG Strategies from December 6 to December 10, 2023, among 500 registered likely voters in Connecticut, with a 4.4% margin of error.
A memo to interested parties from RG Strategies is available here.
The Specialty Equipment Market Association is a trade association that consists of a diverse group of manufacturers, distributors, retailers, publishing companies, auto restorers, street-rod builders, restylers, car clubs, race teams and more. SEMA members make, buy, sell and use all kinds of specialty parts and accessories to make vehicles more attractive, more unique, more convenient, faster, safer, more fun and even like-new again. SEMA represents more than 7,000 small businesses nationwide and 51 local businesses in Connecticut.