In a signal that Democratic voters aren't satisfied with timid steps to address the human-made global climate crisis, new polling from Data for Progress—initially reported by HuffPost on Thursday—shows that incumbent congressional candidates in 2020 could be ousted by progressive primary challengers if they fail to back a Green New Deal.
Championed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and a growing collective of Democratic lawmakers and climate campaigners, a Green New Deal would combine efforts to curb global warming and create a more just economy through generating clean energy jobs and other initiatives. Such a deal, however, has been met with opposition from more conservative Democrats.
The youth-led Sunrise Movement, which has organized protests at congressional offices in recent weeks to encourage House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democrats to support a Green New Deal, celebrated the new polling results in a tweet.
The movement has called on Pelosi to pursue bold climate action that aligns with the latest science, or to step aside so more ambitious lawmakers can take the lead. Pelosi, for her part, has pushed for a pay-go rule for the House that opponents say will hinder Medicare for All and a Green New Deal as well as a Select Committee on the Climate Crisis that critics denounce as a "toothless" stand-in for a committee dedicated to crafting such a deal.
Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice (N.Y.), meanwhile, has unsuccessfully fought to replace Pelosi with someone more conservative and has not publicly backed mounting calls for the Democratically-controlled House to work on a Green New Deal. The new polling, conducted Dec. 17 to Dec. 27, suggests such positions could have major consequences come 2020.
In Rice's Long Island district, 300 likely Democratic primary voters were told that Rice "does not currently support a Green New Deal," and asked about how a candidate's position on a plan "to invest trillions of dollars into the development and distribution of green energy, creating millions of new high-wage jobs while preventing catastrophic climate change" would impact their decisions in the ballot box during the next primary. ...
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