Global warming may not be so powerful as a political issue. That’s what I take from the results of the Field Poll, that released a list of issues rated by the voters as to what is most important to them in the upcoming gubernatorial election. Global warming finished last of 12 issues queried.

The voters’ attitude toward global warming may very well determine the outcome of the proposed ballot initiative to suspend AB 32, California’s anti-global warming measure. The issue that topped all other concerns for poll respondents was jobs. Nearly 69% said jobs is the prime issue for gubernatorial candidates to focus their attention.

Given that supporters of suspending AB 32 argue that continuing to implement the measure would mean a loss of jobs, the combination of concern for jobs and the relative lack of concern for global warming as an issue could be good news for the measure’s backers.

Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, which is a prime supporter of the initiative to suspend AB 32, said "The fact that ‘jobs and the economy’ ranks first and ‘global warming’ ranks last in the latest Field Poll is a great boost to the effort to suspend AB 32. We know that once voters understand how damaging the implementation of AB 32 would have on employment, support for the measure goes way, way up."

Coupal makes his argument for the measure on this page today.

Breaking down the numbers on the global warming issue in the Field Poll offered some expected results, but some surprises as well.

While younger and more liberal voters saw global warming as a greater threat than older, more conservative voters as one might expect, the more educated and more well-off respondents found global warming a less important issue than less educated and those lower on the income scale.

One might surmise that any subset of voters placing global warming last in a list of concerns is that these voters made a connection between global warming reforms and their effect on the economy, although the pollsters did not test that connection.

The true test of voters’ attitude toward global warming will come in that proverbial last poll that counts — on Election Day.