Who Biden Needs to Win
Michelle Obama: “We were respected around the world, rallying our allies to confront climate change.”
Bernie Sanders: “The future of our planet is at stake.”
Erik, a former Republican from Illinois: “Joe Biden, on the other hand, has a very detailed plan. Things like unity, education, climate preservation, racial inequality, and even health care.”
The 2020 election will create strange bedfellows, but what was clear from the Democratic National Convention’s opening night is the Biden campaign understands that bringing everyone — from youth voters to communities of color and even Republican-leaning voters — together is the key to victory. It’s why Sen. Sanders spoke alongside former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman and former New York Congresswoman Susan Molinari — two Republican women. And that’s where climate change comes in.
All of these voting blocs have signaled in recent polling that they are moved by climate action.
- An April Yale Program on Climate Change Communication survey found that moderate Republicans are 35 percentage points less likely to vote for a candidate opposing action.
- A March 2020 poll from Climate Power 2020 found that critiquing Trump’s record on climate increases Trump’s disapproval among GOP-leaning persuadable voters.
- And a July poll found that 71 percent of respondents favor bold government action on climate change, while only 19 percent oppose it. These findings are especially noteworthy as 41 percent of the voters sampled are Republican-leaning voters who increasingly view climate action as a key factor in their voting decisions.
For President Trump to secure a second term, he needs to dampen support for Biden among younger Americans and voters of color, while Biden needs to appeal to independent voters — chiefly women — who swung from Obama to Trump in 2016 to win.
And Democrats still have work to do to court younger, Black, and Latino voters if they are to be successful in winning their support in November. Much of the Democratic base has written off Trump and are unlikely to support a Republican congressional candidate. The risk with these voters — particularly younger voters and Latino voters — is that they either skip the election or “drop-off” the ballot after voting in the presidential race.
Climate action is the way in.
Interested in Connecting with an Expert?
We have several political, climate, and environmental justice advocates and experts available to connect to discuss the importance of climate change in the 2020 elections and expand on the climate and environmental records of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, including:
- John Podesta, former top Clinton and Obama administration official
- Lori Lodes, Executive Director of Climate Power 2020
- Pennsylvania State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta, one of 17 participants in the DNC keynote speech
- Alexandria Villasenor, co-founder of US Youth Climate Strike and founder of Earth Uprising (NOTE: Not public yet she’s DNC speaker)
- Cristela Alonzo, Comedian, Producer, and Actor
- Amos Hochstein, former United States Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs
- German Trejo, Democratic strategist. Available to do Spanish-language interviews
- Jamal Raad, Co-founder and Campaign Director for Evergreen Action
- Maggie Thomas, Political Director at Evergreen and former Warren campaign staffer
- Julian Brave NoiseCat, Vice President of Policy & Strategy, Data for Progress
- Marcela Mulholland, Deputy Director for Climate at Data for Progress
- Jesse Lee, senior advisor for communications at the Center for American Progress
NOTABLE QUOTES FROM TONIGHT
- Washington Governor Jay Inslee: “[Biden] has unified our group around a clean energy strategy.”
- Sen. Bernie Sanders: “Our great nation is now living in an unprecedented moment. We’re facing the worst public health crisis in 100 years and the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. We are confronting systemic racism and the enormous threat to our planet of climate change.”
- Sen. Bernie Sanders: “Joe will rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and fight the threat of climate change by transitioning us to 100% clean electricity over the next 15 years. These initiatives will create millions of good-paying jobs all across our country.”
- Sen. Bernie Sanders: “My friends, I say to you, to everyone who supported other candidates in the primary and to those who may have voted for Donald Trump in the last election, the future of our Democracy is at stake. The future of our economy is at stake. The future of our planet is at stake. We must come together, defeat Donald Trump, and elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as our next president and vice president.”
- First Lady Michelle Obama: When my husband left… we had a record-breaking stretch of job creation. We had secured the right to health care for 20 million people. We were respected around the world, rallying our allies to confront climate change. and our leaders had worked hand-in-hand with scientists to help prevent an ebola outbreak from becoming a global pandemic.”
- First Lady Michelle Obama: “Joe Biden wants all of our kids to go to a good school, see a doctor when they’re sick, live on a healthy planet, and he’s got plans to make all of that happen.”
- NPR: Biden Faces A Convention Test, To Offer A Vision Beyond Beating Trump
- “Many of Biden’s plans are long-standing Democratic Party goals, but they’ve been adapted to address racial inequities and climate change.”
- NYT: Interior Dept. Finalizes Plan to Open Arctic Refuge to Oil and Gas Companies
- “Opponents say that opening the refuge to drilling would be a step backward at a time when the world should be reducing fossil fuel use to address global warming. They also say drilling could harm vulnerable wildlife in the area, including polar bears, which are already struggling because of climate change, and migrating herds of caribou that use the coastal plain as a calving area.”
- Quartz: Kamala Harris signals the rise of the “climate voter”
- “The voters most motivated by climate look like the fastest-growing segments of the electorate. Millennials, women, people of color, and those earning less than $50,000 annually are all demographics listing climate as their top priority in elections, according to the Environmental Voter Project.”