As the presidential primary continued, the climate crisis maintained its position as a top priority for voters, especially in early states, and the candidates vying for their support. Here is a recap of recent polling, new plans from candidates, and the ways climate change is playing out on the campaign trail.
New Polls, Interesting Results
A new CNN poll asked Nevada and South Carolina voters which candidate respondents thought would best tackle the climate crisis. The results imply candidates, like Sanders, benefit from leaning in on climate change, especially in Nevada where polling from the Reno Gazette-Journal and Suffolk and Monmouth shows climate is a top two priority. Sanders held a climate event in Las Vegas just before the poll was fielded.
Nevada: Which of those candidates you would be most likely to support for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020? Biden (22%), Sanders (22%), Warren (18%), Harris (5%), Buttigieg (4%), Steyer (4%), Yang (3%), and Booker (2%), with other candidates at 1% or lower.
Which candidate would best tackle the climate crisis? Sanders (24%), Biden (20%), Warren (15%), Buttigieg (6%) and Harris, Booker, Yang and Steyer all tied at 3%.
South Carolina: Which of those candidates you would be most likely to support for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020? Biden (37%), Warren (16%), Sanders (11%), Buttigieg (4%), Harris (3%), Steyer (3%), Booker (2%), and O’Rourke (2%), with other candidates at 1% or lower.
Which candidate would best tackle the climate crisis? Biden (30%), Warren (18%), Sanders (15%), and Buttigiegm Harris and Steyer all tied at 4%.
The Center for Western Priorities came out with a new poll showing voters in Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Montana and New Mexico strongly support conservation, clean energy development, climate action, and more.
The Race to the Top Continues
A race to the top on climate policy means candidates should always be building on their plans and releasing new proposals throughout the primary.
- Bullock released a plan to protect our public lands and harness their public lands in tackling the climate crisis. The proposal calls for investing in clean energy and conservation, achieve net-zero emissions on our public lands by 2030, and other conservation priorities.
- Steyer unveiled an international climate action plan to restore global leadership, hold other countries accountable, and ensure environmental equity.
- Warren’s latest plan “Strengthening Congressional Independence from Corporate Lobbyists” cites fossil fuel lobbyists fighting action on climate change while making a case for reforms.
Here are some more examples of how candidate are prioritizing climate action in their campaign:
- Michael Bennet called out the “corruption of inaction” on climate.
- In Nevada, Joe Biden spoke about how the state’s “‘vulnerabilities and opportunities’ have played a role in shaping Biden’s plan to combat climate change,” and he “hit hard on climate change.”
- Cory Booker talked about climate and agriculture in Iowa, saying “farmers are the solution to the problem.”
- Pete Buttigieg talked about climate change and public lands in Nevada, explaining that “climate issues are ‘a little bit different here, not just because there’s a lot of climate vulnerability in areas that face water shortage but also because so many of the climate solutions are here, from solar energy to electric vehicles.’”
- Julián Castro spoke about his climate plan with NPR.
- In New Hampshire, Tulsi Gabbard discussed the national security aspects of a changing climate.
- At the SEIU forum, Kamala Harris committed to holding polluters accountable.
- In Washington, Amy Klobuchar detailed her climate plans for the first week of her presidency.
- WMUR in New Hampshire noted “climate change seen as key issue in presidential race” featuring Beto O’Rourke and Elizabeth Warren.
- Bernie Sanders made the case for climate action in New Hampshire.
- Tom Steyer called out the fossil fuel industry for “insisting that they make profits and endangering the health and safety of every single American citizen.”
- Elizabeth Warren visited Michigan’s most polluted zip code. She also detailed how polluters built a network of lobbyists and think tanks to block action on climate change during a town hall in Nevada.
- Our Daily Planet held a climate conversation with Andrew Yang
- Seven candidates appeared at the Blue Jamboree in South Carolina, where they talked about “a number of issues affecting the state from raising the minimum wage to climate change”
Check out changetheclimate2020.com for more on climate change in the 2020 primary.