Searching for Green Elephants and Other Mythical Creatures During the Trump Years: Partisanship and Congressional Voting on Environmental Legislation

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Are there any environmentalists left in the Republican Party? Using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and data from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) for the 115th (2017–2018) and 116th (2019–2020) Congresses, the author finds that around 25% of Republicans in the House of Representatives and 40% of those in the Senate are more supportive of environmental legislation than the average Democrat in their respective chambers, when separating partisanship from environmentalism. However, findings also suggest that environmentalism for Republicans tends to focus far more on conserving existing programs and resources than it does on advocating for progressive new policies to address emerging problems, like climate change, so it manifests differently than environmentally focused initiatives that are synonymous with the policy doctrine of Democrats.