The youth-led Sunrise Movement pointed to a new poll out Thursday to repeat their case that Democrats who don’t support a bold Green New Deal to help solve the climate emergency are not only failing a moral test but also making a deeply flawed political calculation about the public’s readiness for a far-reaching plan to reduce emissions and transform the economy for the good of all workers.
“These results confirm what we’ve known for months: the Green New Deal isn’t just the right policy to confront the climate crisis and create millions of well-paying jobs in the process, but it’s also smart politics.”
—Stephen O’Hanlon, Sunrise MovementThe survey (pdf) in question, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in collaboration with the Cook Political Report, took a detailed look at both Democratic and swing voters in four key battleground states—Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—where President Donald Trump either beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 or outperformed expectations. While Clinton edged out her Republican rival in Minnesota, Trump claimed the other three—wins that many cite as pivotal for his overall victory.
Despite frequent arguments to the contrary made by corporate Democrats, among the overall findings of the KFF/Cook analysis is that few Democratic voters in these four states currently see “progressive positions as deal breakers in their 2020 vote.” In addition, a specific look at the Green New Deal shows a full 92% of self-identified Democratics back such a plan.
In its comments, Sunrise pointed to the 67%—a full two-thirds—of self-identified swing voters in these key battle ground states who said they also believe the Green New Deal is a good idea.
“These results confirm what we’ve known for months: the Green New Deal isn’t just the right policy to confront the climate crisis and create millions of well-paying jobs in the process, but it’s also smart politics,” said Stephen O’Hanlon, Sunrise’s communications director, in a statement.
“If Democrats want to win back states that delivered the election to Trump in 2016, these numbers show that candidates need to embrace the Green New Deal,” O’Hanlon added. “Huge numbers of voters, especially new and infrequent ones, love the Green New Deal. That’s why nearly every presidential candidate is out there campaigning on it. It’s time for Democratic leaders in Congress to follow.”
O’Hanlon said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the corporate Democrats who continue to resist the urgent demands for a Green New Deal are “showing they’re out of touch—not just with the science of climate change, but with the political mood across the country too. They need to reverse course and follow the leadership of young people, or risk waking up to another shocking election result next year.”
During a sit-in last week at Pelosi’s office on Capitol Hill, a number of Sunrise activists pointed to the deadly and destruction wildfires in her homestate of California to remind the Speaker of just how vital it remains for all Democrats to get on board with a set of proposals bold enough to make the kind of change the scientific community says is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
“Step up or step aside,” the activists told Pelosi.
“Our rage has to burn as fiercely as every fire we witness,” one participant said in a statement. “And we’re going to keep sitting in and striking until our leaders feel it too.”