Report Aug 7, 2012

Poll: Strong Bipartisan Support For National Parks

Survey Findings Memo (82.6 KB)

According to a new poll commissioned by the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Hospitality Association, national parks are cherished by Americans and voters want the federal government to ensure they are protected for the future. The survey was conducted by Hart Research Associates and North Star Opinion Research from June 12-17, 2012, among a national sample of 1,004 registered voters.

Key Findings:

  • National parks are cherished by Americans. In many ways voters view parks as the essence of America the Beautiful, majestic, awe-inspiring places to be revered, cherished, and protected. In fact, 95 percent of voters see “protecting and supporting the National Parks” as an appropriate role for the federal government.

  • Voters associate National Parks with key priorities and important American values. Nearly 90 percent of voters think that candidates who prioritize National Parks are seen as:

    • - Caring about the environment
    • - Protecting our heritage for future generations
    • - A good steward of our nation’s resources
    • - Forward looking
    • - Understanding what makes America special
    • - Patriotic
  • Support for National Parks is personal for millions of Americans—81 percent of voters report having visited a National Park at some point in their lives, and nearly nine in 10 say they are interested in visiting in the future.

  • Even in these difficult fiscal circumstances, very few voters from either side of the political aisle say the federal government should be cutting back on funding for National Parks.

  • National Parks are highly valued by voters, who see them as home to some of the most majestic, beautiful, and awe-inspiring places in the world. Yet few voters (6 percent) think National Parks are in good shape today, while many more (80 percent) express concern that funding shortages are damaging National Parks and marring visitors’ park experiences.

  • Voters see the 2016 centennial as a great way to engage citizens on the value of National Parks, and 77 percent of voters say it is important for the next president to ensure that parks are fully restored and ready to serve and be relevant to this country for another hundred years.