May 1, 2019

Climate change is a massive issue for Democrats in 2020

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

We knew it was important, of course, but a new CNN poll released Tuesday shows it's solidly in the top of Democratic primary voters' issues for 2020.

By the numbers: 96% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say it's very or somewhat important for a presidential candidate to promise aggressive action on climate change.

  • That's the highest of any of the issues polled, beating other Democratic favorites like Medicare for All (91%), executive action to tighten gun laws (85%), and tuition-free public college (78%).
  • Most Democrats feel strongly about it. 82% said it was very important to address climate change, while 14% said it was somewhat important.

Yes, but: A big caveat is that the Democratic sample was small — just 411 voters (it was a subsample in a larger national poll). That means the margin of error was 5.9 percentage points.

  • That's large enough that we can't be sure climate is the number one issue for Democrats. It could just as easily be health care, which isn't far behind.
  • But we can safely say that it's one of the top issues — higher than most other priorities — and that Democrats are passionate about it.

The bottom line: With numbers like these, it's no surprise that O'Rourke and Jay Inslee have put climate policy at the top of their agendas. And it will likely be harder for other candidates to get through the primary without spelling out detailed policies of their own.

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In photos: Authorities issue warning as Americans venture out for Memorial Day weekend

Venice Beach in Los Angeles on May 24. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Authorities urged Americans to maintain social distancing and wear masks against the coronavirus amid reports of packed beaches and bars during the Memorial Day weekend.

Driving the news: Law enforcement stepped up beach patrols, authorities on Florida's Gulf Coast closed parking lots because they were full and there were crowded scenes at Lake of the Ozarks bars in Missouri, per AP, which reports a shooting injured several people at a packed Daytona Beach in Florida.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 5,405,029 — Total deaths: 344,997 — Total recoveries — 2,168,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 1,642,021 — Total deaths: 97,698 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans sue California over mail-out ballot plan

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a February news conference in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump accused Democrats of trying "Rig" November's general election as Republican groups filed a lawsuit against California Sunday in an attempt to stop Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) from mailing ballots to all registered voters.

Driving the news: Newsom signed an executive order this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic ensuring that all registered voters in the state receive a mail-in ballot.