Midwest voters of both parties are so concerned about protecting clean air and water and conserving the lands that help preserve water quality that they would support additional taxes to pay for the preservation of these core quality-of-life issues. Additionally, voters will strongly consider a candidate's stance on environmental protection in deciding whom to support in November's elections, according to a bipartisan poll released by the Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy, two national land and water conservation organizations.

The bipartisan poll revealed that the support for conservation shown by Midwest voters, matches the strong support for issues by voters across the country. The poll shows that 65 percent of American voters surveyed said they were willing to support small increases in taxes to pay for programs to protect water quality, wildlife habitat and neighborhood parks.

Asked if a candidate's positions on protecting water quality, local parks and wildlife areas are important factors in deciding whom to vote for in November, 79 percent of the voters polled across the country said “yes.”

In the 17 states likely to be the most contested electoral states in November, 77 percent said conservation issues would be “very” or “somewhat” important in making their choices. “These results show that voters are willing to make a personal investment to protect local lands and waterways and ensure clean air and water,” said Will Rogers, president of the Trust for Public Land. “For a decade, we have worked in communities across the nation on ballot measures to create new public funding sources for open space, and these measures often are approved by large majorities. That holds true for areas that are heavily democratic or heavily republican, and it is true for rural communities, urban centers and the suburbs. Protecting clean air and water and conserving the land that contributes to their protection is important to voters.”

The “small increase” in taxes that voters say they support would translate into large increases for state and local conservation programs. A total of 56 percent of voters nationwide say they would pay $50 per year more, including 50 percent of republican voters. A major reason for the willingness of voters across the country to spend more is to protect water quality, the poll found.