As I have argued previously, energy is a potential wedge issue for Democrats. The mindlessly pro-fossil, anti-renewables posture of the congressional GOP is supported only by committed Republicans. Independents are far more open to environmental concerns and far more supportive of clean energy. With the right message, delivered consistently, Democrats can bring Independents to their side.

More evidence for this thesis came yesterday in the form of a poll [PDF] commissioned by environmental groups from Geoff Garin and Allan Rivlin of Hart Research. The pollsters did 1,000 interviews, distributed among four key swing states: Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio. Their findings are quite revealing, in a number of ways.

First and most important: Despite a concerted and well-funded attack on Obama by oil companies, focused on just those key states, the majority of voters still trust the president over congressional Republicans on energy (45 to 38 percent) and jobs (44 to 39 percent). There’s a well of trust from which to draw.