Last September I wrote a comment titled “Animal welfare tops the ballot for many voters”. At its conclusion, I hypothesized, “So it’s not hard to conclude that pet owners will vote for candidates who share their animal welfare values.”
There is now evidence to support this hypothesis.
A month after the publication of my article, the publication of a survey conducted on behalf of Banfield Pet Hospital found that 65% of pet owners said that when they vote (in elections of 2020), they would consider the impact of different issues on the future of their animal.
More recently, Perri Otto, a graduate student at the University of Colorado at Denver, conducted a survey of registered voters which found that 62.7% of respondents who owned pets said they would be more likely to vote for candidates who supported strong animal welfare laws. This poll was mailed to 2,100 randomly selected registered voters selected from the Colorado Secretary of State’s voter database. The survey was split evenly among the seven congressional districts, 300 polls each, and further divided by 100 Republicans, 100 Democrats and 100 unaffiliated voters. To reduce possible biases between rural and urban areas, the survey was limited to the possession of pets and did not include livestock, wildlife or other animals.
A total of 637 responses, or 30.3%. were fired: 255 Democrats, 205 Republicans and 157 unaffiliated voters. Of those, 65.9% who identified as Democrats said they would be more likely to vote for candidates who supported strict animal welfare laws; 46.8% of Republicans would be more likely, as would 59.9% of unaffiliated voters.
When it comes to pet ownership, 72% of respondents indicated that they currently own pets. Of the 28% who didn’t, 45.5% said they would still be more likely to vote for candidates who support strict animal welfare laws.
When it comes to negative responses, only 1.9% of Democrats, 8.3% of Republicans and 7.3% of unaffiliated voters said they would be less likely to vote for candidates who supported strict laws on animal welfare. The remaining 33% (combined) replied that they would have no influence on their choice of vote.
Lawmakers need to be aware of the changing demographics in our state, which understands the increased importance pets play in families and how this will affect future voting trends. Consider a 2019 survey of 2,000 pet owners on behalf of the pet food company “I and Love and You”, which found that 34% of parents said they preferred their pets. to their own children, while a 2016 article in Forbes magazine noted a growing number of millennials are choosing pets over parenthood. As my dog would say, it’s something to chew on.
To help voters in their search for animal-friendly candidates, Colorado Voters for Animals produces an annual scorecard that rates lawmakers on past support for animal-related bills, and during election years, the “Companion of Animals”. Voting ”CVA ranks candidates based on responses to survey questions. concerning animal welfare.
Roland Halpern is Executive Director of Colorado Voters for Animals, a non-partisan, nonprofit advocacy organization whose mission is to identify and help elect animal-friendly candidates and work with lawmakers to pass sensible laws. on the protection of animals.