National Parks represent a powerful symbol for voters. In their minds, National Parks embody the American experience, and voters want to see National Parks honored, cherished, and cared for, not left to crumble into disrepair.
Voters across the ideological spectrum see National Parks as a legitimate and important federal responsibility—nearly nine in 10 say it is extremely important (59%) or quite important (29%) for the federal government to protect and support National Parks. And 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. Likewise, this same spirit of bipartisanship is exemplified by the large majority of voters who say that support for National Parks is an issue that can unite people across party lines.
Voters also associate National Parks with key priorities and important American values. Candidates who prioritize National Parks are seen by voters as:
Support for National Parks is an issue that is personal for millions of Americans—more than four in five 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. The National Parks constituency is not only sizable, it is avid in its support for Parks and spans the political, ideological, and demographic spectrum.
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 think National Parks are in good shape today, while many more express concern that funding shortages are damaging National Parks and marring visitors’ park experiences.
In response, voters react favorably to numerous strategies designed to strengthen National Parks. Importantly, many voters say they want to be a part of this process: more than one-third say they would actively support—th ough volunteerism, donations, or both—a national campaign to protect and strengthen the National Parks.
Voters see the 2016 centennial as a great way to engage citizens on the value of National Parks, and 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.
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