Change the Climate 2020

MEMO: Ahead of New Hampshire primary, climate is top issue for voters & candidates

Feb 10, 2020

Contact: Emily Samsel,, 202-454-4573

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:

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


Highlights: Candidates prioritizing climate in the lead-up to New Hampshire

Former Vice President Joe Biden

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

Senator Amy Klobuchar

Senator Bernie Sanders

Tom Steyer

  • 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

Andrew Yang



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.