Does It Really Make a Fracking Difference? The Conditional Effects of Question Wording on Support for Hydraulic Fracturing

Mileah Kromer, Kirby Goidel, Michael Climek

Abstract


We utilize statewide surveys conducted in Maryland and Louisiana to investigate whether including the phrase “fracking or hydraulic fracturing” in a survey question influences self-reported awareness, perceptions of safety, or support for the drilling practice. We find that question wording effects are only present in the context of state support for additional drilling and only among Louisiana residents. Additional analysis reveals that the effects of question wording are contingent on partisan affiliation. Republicans are more inclined to support drilling but become less certain when the phrase “fracking or hydraulic fracturing” is used.


Keywords


fracking; question wording; survey research

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