To: Interested Parties
From: Tiernan Sittenfeld, SVP of Government Affairs, League of Conservation Voters
Date: February 10, 2020
Re: Ahead of New Hampshire primary, climate is top issue for voters and candidates
The First In The Nation primary is upon us, and addressing climate change is the #1 priority issue for New Hampshire Democratic primary voters, according to a late-January University of New Hampshire/CNN poll. In fact, the majority of New Hampshire voters on both sides of the aisle support climate action — our fall 2019 poll with UNH found that 70 percent of New Hampshire residents support a move to 100% clean energy by 2050. This comes on the heels of the Iowa caucuses, where entrance polls found that climate change was the second most important issue behind healthcare for caucusgoers.
Just four years after there was not a single general election debate question about climate policy, the majority of the 2020 Democratic field prioritized talking to young New Hampshire voters about their climate and clean energy plans in the final days before the primary. Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Amy Klobuchar, former Governor Deval Patrick, Tom Steyer, Andrew Yang, and campaign surrogates for Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren spent Wednesday at the NH Youth Climate and Clean Energy Town Hall in Concord.
And despite the fact that debate moderators did not spend enough time on climate change during Friday’s NH debate, asking about it only briefly at the end in the context of USMCA, many of the candidates raised climate in their remarks throughout the night. All of the leading Democratic candidates have released comprehensive plans to combat the climate crisis that are based on science, rooted in equity, and prioritize justice.
Climate change is clearly front and center in the run-up to Tuesday’s primary as these recent Granite State focused headlines illustrate:
- NHPR’s Annie Ropeik: Voters Seek Leadership On Climate Change At Forum With 2020 Candidates
- Salon’s Amanda Marcotte: While TV pundits talk horse race, New Hampshire voters want action on climate crisis
- The Washington Post’s Dino Grandoni: 2020 Democrats play up climate plans as a way to win in New Hampshire
- E & E’s Scott Waldman: Climate change a priority in early voting states
- The Concord Monitor’s Jake Sheridan: Climate change emerging as a top issue for 2020 Dems
- The Union Leader’s Josie Albertson-Grove: Young voters clamor for climate plans
- WMUR has asked candidates about their top issue(s) throughout the primary, and Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Steyer, and Warren all named climate.
In early 2019, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) launched our $3.1 million Change the Climate 2020 effort to ensure the eventual 2020 Democratic nominee is committed to immediate action on climate. Our staff and volunteers have attended more than 100 candidate events in early states and asked more than 60 climate questions directly of candidates — including at St. Anselm’s Politics & Eggs with Sanders last Friday. Check out videos of our interactions with candidates here, and for everything the candidates have said and done on climate change (with a filter for NH-specific news) visit changetheclimate2020.com.
Highlights: Candidates prioritizing climate in the lead-up to New Hampshire
Former Vice President Joe Biden
- “Biden focuses on climate change, young voters in Hanover visit” from Valley News
- The Union Leader reported that “Biden said the key to fighting climate change is a strong foreign policy” at a recent stop in Peterborough
- Reminder: LCV’s take on Biden’s ‘Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice’
Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg
- Bloomberg might not be hosting events in New Hampshire, but he still “means it” when it comes to fighting climate change
- New Hampshire ads: Bloomberg’s campaign spent just over $1 million in New Hampshire on two ads mentioning climate change in the context of political fights in which he has engaged
- Reminder: LCV’s take on Bloomberg’s Plan for 100% Clean Power
Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg
- The day after the Iowa caucuses, Buttigieg stopped at ReVision Energy to talk about green jobs in Brentwood
- At a recent campaign stop in Claremont, Buttigieg called “for farmers to be part of the solution” to the climate crisis
- New Hampshire ads: Buttigieg spent an estimated $362K to reach New Hampshire voters with ads that mention climate change, including almost $335K on an ad that specifically touts Buttigieg’s plan to address climate change, and close to $30K on another ad that prominently features climate change in the context of challenges the next president will face
- Reminder: LCV’s take on Buttigieg’s Mobilizing America to Combat Climate Change
Senator Amy Klobuchar
- “When asked if she could accomplish just one thing as president, Klobuchar said her top priority would be taking major action on climate change,” according to the Keene Sentinel
- WMUR reported, “Klobuchar focuses on climate change in Rye campaign stop”
- New Hampshire ads: Klobuchar spent almost $25K to reach New Hampshire voters with two ads that mentioned climate change in the context of challenges facing the United States
- Reminder: LCV’s take on Klobuchar’s Plan to Tackle the Climate Crisis
Senator Bernie Sanders
- “Sanders talks environment, ‘corporate greed’ in Plaistow, NH” from Gloucester Daily Times
- The Conway Daily Sun reported on a Sanders event where “among the biggest applause lines of the afternoon came when he spoke about climate change”
- New Hampshire ads: Sanders spent over $525K to reach New Hampshire voters with an ad that mentions a planet on the brink of a climate disaster in a list of challenges facing the next President
- Reminder: LCV’s take on Sanders’ 2020 Green New Deal
- Steyer has told candidates across the Granite State that climate change is his “number one priority” and that he’d declare a state of emergency to take action on climate on day one
- In response to NH Change the Climate 2020 volunteer Kate’s question, Steyer emphasized his commitment to international leadership on climate and stressed how behind the U.S. is in transitioning away from fossil fuels compared to other countries
- New Hampshire ads: Steyer has spent over $7 million to reach New Hampshire voters with 13 different ads mentioning energy and environment issues. Ads include a 60-second spot entirely about climate change where Steyer says climate is his number one priority. Another ad features “climate change voters” speaking to camera and highlighting the importance of the issue
- Reminder: LCV’s take on Steyer’s Justice-Centered Climate Plan
Senator Elizabeth Warren
- “From Green Technology To Fossil Fuels, Elizabeth Warren Talks Climate At New Hampshire Town Hall,” from WBUR.
- Warren answered Change the Climate 2020 volunteer Phoebe’s question about clean energy goals in New Hampshire saying, “I don’t want to do this by 2050, I want to do this by 2030!” Warren’s team turned the exchange into a campaign video
- Reminder: LCV’s take on Warren’s 100 percent Clean Energy for America plan
- At a recent stop, Yang said climate change is an ‘existential threat’ and fighting it is ‘job one’
- Yang answered a pair of questions from NH Change the Climate 2020 volunteers Emma and Stevie about his plans to achieve net zero carbon by 2050 and how he would ensure a just and equitable transition to clean energy
- New Hampshire ads: Yang spent almost $535K to reach New Hampshire voters with 60-and 30-second versions of an ad that mention a fight against climate change that confronts polluters
- Reminder: LCV’s take on Yang’s It’s Worse Than You Think – Lower Emissions, Higher Ground
Ad Data: Copyright 2019 by KANTAR MEDIA INTELLIGENCE. All rights reserved. Note the reports do not include cable TV placements, which may include climate change and related issues.