ICYMI: Republicans’ Climate Debate Disaster Spells Electoral Trouble, Climate Change Emerges as Critical 2024 Issue

Washington, D.C. — Earlier this week, GOP candidates participated in the first primary debate of the 2024 election cycle. The issue of climate change was one of the first debate topics – and not a single candidate raised their hand when asked if they agreed that climate change was human-caused. The politics of climate is rapidly changing, and post-debate coverage has correctly pointed out that the GOP’s climate denialism will be a political liability in 2024.

AP News: Presidential debate shows how GOP candidates are struggling to address concerns about climate change“The eight Republican presidential candidates on the debate stage were asked to raise their hands if they believed human behavior is causing climate change. Not a single hand went up.”

New York Times: Chaos Erupts When Republican Candidates Are Asked if They Believe in Climate Change“It was an unusual litmus test for a Republican primary debate, one that quickly descended into personal attacks and obfuscation: The candidates were asked whether humans had contributed to climate change. There is no scientific dispute that the answer is yes, but hardly any of the Republican candidates gave a straight answer.”

NPR: Climate change made it in the GOP debate. Some young Republicans say that’s a win“Strategists warn that if Republicans can’t talk about climate, they may lose the younger voting base crucial to swing race wins.”

Slate: Climate Change Is Still a Huge Electoral Problem for Republicans“Once again, the Republican Party is on track to dismiss the existential concerns of young voters—even as they grow into an ever-important voting bloc.”

The Guardian: Republican activist says party ‘deserves to lose’ if it fails to address climate crisis“Republicans “deserve to lose” electorally if they can’t show they care about the climate crisis, according to the head of a conservative climate organization that put forward a rare question on the issue to GOP candidates in Wednesday’s televised debate.”

Rolling Stone: ‘Climate Change Agenda Is a Hoax,’ Says Surging GOP Candidate at Debate“Republicans being wrong on climate change is nothing new, of course. But it’s an especially virulent strain of climate denial to cast climate change — and the potential for humans to fix it — as a conspiracy theory in 2023.”

Huffington Post : Fox News Actually Asked GOP Candidates About Climate Change — And It Didn’t Go Well“But in the first half hour of Wednesday night’s debate, the right-wing network aired a recorded question from a teenage GOP activist lamenting how Republicans’ outright denial of climate change has alienated young voters.”

Politico: Climate forced its way onto GOP debate stage“Will that assure young Republican voters that their elected leaders care about climate change? That’s a question perhaps only the 2024 election can help settle.”

MSNBC: On climate crisis, debate offered little evidence of GOP progress“In other words, the Republicans on the debate stage apparently didn’t want to talk about the climate crisis, but Democratic leaders were quick to remind the public that one party remains serious about the issue.”

The Guardian: Republican hopefuls shrug when asked about climate crisis during debate“Young Republican voters, however, seem increasingly concerned about the climate crisis. A 2022 Pew poll found that 73% of Republicans aged 18-39 thought climate change was an extremely/very or somewhat serious issue.”