Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

As midterm elections get closer, the partisan divide over climate change is becoming increasingly clearer.

Driving the news: 72% of registered voters backing Democrats in the upcoming elections view climate change as a "very big" problem, compared to just 11% of GOP supporters, new Pew Research Center polling shows.

Why it matters: It demonstrates the persistence of the partisan gulf on climate change at a time when scientists are increasingly sounding the alarm about the dangers of a warming planet.

By the numbers: That 61-point gap is tied for the largest among 18 topics Pew asked about in the newly released survey that also addressed the economy, education, immigration and many other areas.

  • Pew conducted the survey just before the release of a major UN scientific report on the consequences if warming goes above 1.5°C, or 2.7°F, relative to preindustrial levels.
  • The 1.5°C threshold is one that the UN warns the planet is almost certain to cross absent extremely deep emissions cuts in coming years.

Quick take: The divide in Pew's poll, taken in concert with the sobering UN conclusions, is just one example of a wider political disconnect over climate change that's also apparent in policy circles.

  • For instance, ExxonMobil recently threw its lobbying weight behind a proposal for a $40-per-ton carbon tax that would be married to the repeal of climate regulations.
  • However, Exxon's move arrived just a day after the release of the UN analysis, which found that a vastly higher carbon price is needed to rein in emissions, unless combined with a "complementary mix of stringent policies."

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Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

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President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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