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New Poll: House GOP’s Anti-ESG Push to Blindfold Investors Is Deeply Unpopular, Even Among Republicans

Washington, D.C. — Today, Public Citizen released the results of a new nationwide poll conducted by Lake Research Partners which reveals that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives’ anti-Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) efforts this year have been deeply unpopular with Americans across the political spectrum.

In the survey of 1,000 likely 2024 voters nationwide conducted November 14-22, 2023, the poll found that, by a 2-1 margin, a majority of voters (56 percent), including a majority of Independents (63 percent) and Republicans (52 percent), oppose Congress imposing limits on the type of information about a corporation’s business record that is disclosed to pension and retirement fund managers, investors, and the public.  The poll found that only 30 percent of voters, including only 21 percent of Independents and 34 percent of Republicans, would support Congress imposing limits on this investor information.

“House Republicans’ push to blindfold investors and gag shareholders is not just bad for investors and the economy, but also totally at odds with what the American people actually want,” said Jon Golinger, democracy advocate at Public Citizen. “By looking beyond the rabid ‘anti-ESG’ rhetoric into the actual policies House Republicans are peddling, this poll shows that the American people want Congress to push companies to disclose more, not less, information about their business records to investors in order to provide the fullest possible picture of potential investment risk.”  

When it comes to specific information that corporations could not want to disclose, a plurality of voters strongly oppose not disclosing information about whether a company utilizes slave or forced labor overseas (61 percent oppose); whether the company has a record of product safety violations, including harm to consumers, injuries, or death (56 percent oppose); corporate spending on lobbyists (56 percent oppose); and gender discrimination within the corporation, including pay equity (56 percent oppose). 

More than two-thirds (68 percent overall, 73 percent of Republicans) also oppose Congress creating a corporate executive advisory committee to influence government regulators’ decision-making.

The issue could be of consequence in future elections: more than 6-in-10 (64 percent) indicated that they would be more likely to support an elected official who favors requiring corporations to disclose environmental, social, and governance information about their business dealings to investors and the public, including over 50 percent of Republicans. Only 18 percent say they would be less likely to support them.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Emily Leach at eleach@citizen.org