Ahead of New Hampshire primary, climate is top issue for voters & 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.

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