Nashua, NH - The most wide-open presidential race in 60 years remains wide open after tonight, as John McCain and Hillary Clinton won New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary after caucus wins by Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee in Iowa.
The true frontrunner in the 2008 presidential campaign so far is the issue of global warming: all four winning candidates to date support capping greenhouse gas emissions and solving the global warming crisis.
Global warming was named as one of Time magazine's eight keys to the primary election here in New Hampshire and the issue was among the keys to the resurgence of Senator McCain and his victory tonight. Pundits had given up on the McCain campaign just a few weeks ago, but not the voters in a state that saw overwhelming support for town meeting resolutions on global warming action in 2007. McCain, a long-time advocate of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, defeated Mitt Romney, the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts.
With temperatures approaching 60 degrees here in southern New Hampshire on what could be the warmest primary election day in history, it's hard not to be cognizant of the impending reality of global climate change. While it's true that the unseasonable weather certainly made it easier for Granite State voters to come to the polls, it's clear something else is happening: Americans are hungry for change.
In these first two states, voters are turning out in record numbers to make their voice heard for change. What change could be more dramatic than ending the dependence on the dirty fossil energy of the past as embodied by former oil men George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and their Administration? Once again, Republicans rejected candidates Romney, Giuliani and Thompson who offer little more than a continuation of the Bush-Cheney energy policies. With Huckabee in Iowa and now McCain in New Hampshire, Republicans have chosen candidates who favor action on global warming.
Romney, who had started the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative with fellow Republican Governor George Pataki but later reneged on that initiative, has failed to put forward any specifics to reduce carbon emissions in this campaign. Moreover, Romney took the extraordinary position that the US should not lead the world on global warming without guaranteeing action from other nations first. And, despite the obvious benefits of reducing dependence on the dirty energy of the past, Romney would not do much more than continue the failed policies of the Bush Administration.
But while McCain and, to a lesser extent, Huckabee have the strongest positions on global warming among the Republican candidates, neither has put forward comprehensive plans that achieve the greenhouse gas reduction goals that the scientific community says are necessary and that LCV supports. Their plans are clearly less aggressive than any of the remaining Democratic candidates.
On the Democratic side, senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama split the lion’s share of this state’s delegates. It is worthy to note that all four of the party’s major candidates - including John Edwards and Bill Richardson - have put forward aggressive plans that meet the greenhouse gas reduction goals supported by LCV.
You can read more about all the candidates’ plans at: http://www.lcv.org/voterguide
Thanks to our hosts here in New Hampshire. And like our friends at Iowa Global Warming, the Granite State Conservation Voters and Carbon Coalition have done a tremendous job of tracking the candidates, asking tough questions and informing Americans about their positions on these critical issues.
Many of the videos on the website heatison.org are there because of the work of the staff and hundreds of volunteers who care about this pressing issue.
Now it's on to Nevada and South Carolina. And LCV will be there.