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Prof. Aseem Prakash on The Washington Post Monkey Cage, "For Democrats, trying to slow climate change is good politics"

Submitted by Stephen Dunne on July 15, 2022 - 11:38am

Prof. Aseem Prakash, colleague Prof. Nives Dolšak, and Ph.D. Candidate Meagan Carmack write in The Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog, "For Democrats, trying to slow climate change is good politics", and ask, "Could it boost incumbents’ votes in the 2022 midterms as well?"

While voters appear to support federal support of climate issues, "The United States generally lags behind its industrialized peers on climate action, with a strong lobby opposing any moves away from carbon-based fuels. The country did not ratify the 1998 Kyoto Protocol, which committed countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and does not have a federal carbon tax or cap-and-trade policy, unlike most industrialized countries, including those in the European Union. In 2017, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 Paris agreement.

And yet opinion polls suggest that a bipartisan majority of Americans support climate action. We investigated whether voters reward candidates who support climate policy...

...We found that Democrats who co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution had a 2.1 percentage point higher vote share than those who did not.

Further, that co-sponsorship helped incumbents more than other ways they might have tried to assure voters that they cared about the environment. For example, we checked to see whether being endorsed by the Sierra Club, a leading U.S. environmental group, or having high League of Conservation Voters (LCV) scores, affected their votes. Neither were associated with candidates’ vote shares. This probably means that Democratic voters perceive climate change as something different from other environmental concerns."

For the full Monkey Cage article, please link here.

For the full paper, please link here.