Republican voters in key swing states are distancing themselves from Pope Francis' stance on climate change, showing a major partisan rift with Democrats on the issue, according to a new poll.

The polling data, released Thursday by Quinnipiac University, looked at voters in three key swing states — Iowa, Colorado and Virginia.

Republican voters in Colorado were the strongest in their opposition to Pope Francis' call for action on global warming. Fifty-three percent of Republicans in the state disagree with the pope, compared with 31 percent who agreed. Democrats agreed with the pope by a whopping 93 percent.

Republicans in Virginia and Iowa disagreed with the pope, but by much slimmer margins. "Republicans disagree by a slim 44-40 percent" in Iowa, according to the poll. Virginia's GOP voters were similar to Iowa on the subject of the pope. They disagreed by 46-42 percent.

Ninety percent of Democrats in Iowa agreed with the pope, while only 84 percent in Virginia did.

Between Republicans and Democrats, "[t]here is a big partisan split," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the poll. "Democrats in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia agree with the pope on climate change while Republicans disagree," he said.

Nevertheless, voters appear to show general agreement that climate change is caused by human activity, although many said it is not a "moral" issue.

In Colorado, 62 percent of voters agree that climate change is caused by human activity, but do not believe it is a moral issue. Likewise, the poll shows 66 percent of voters in Iowa agreed that it is manmade, and 64 percent in Virginia.

Colorado had the highest number of voters who disagreed that climate change is a moral issue at 54 percent. The other two states were both at 50 percent. The disagreement on the issue appeared to be slim, especially in Iowa in Virginia where the split was 50-44, with 6 percent undecided.

The poll was conducted July 9-20 by phone using live interviewers. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.