Aug 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden's clean energy push resonates in Senate battlegrounds

Data: Data for Progress; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Joe Biden's climate posture is a political winner in four states where Senate races and the presidential contest are competitive, per new polling from progressive think tank Data for Progress.

Why it matters: Biden has tethered the spending portion of his energy and climate platform to his wider economic response to the coronavirus pandemic, which could mean a quick push for legislative action if he wins.

  • And if Biden wins in November, the Senate makeup will affect how much of his agenda is implemented (as least when it comes to parts that require Congress).

By the numbers: It shows support for environmental justice proposals. In North Carolina, for instance, 52% are more likely to vote for a Senate candidate backing the idea of steering 40% of climate investments to low-income communities, while just a quarter of respondents would be less likely.

  • There's also backing for achieving 100% carbon-free power by 2035 (which is part of Biden's platform). Fifty percent support the idea, while 35% back the alternative offered of using "coal, oil and natural gas as well as clean energy sources based on what is cheapest."

My thought bubble: Some of the poll's question framing is favorable to aggressive climate policies and spending.

Of note: The overall survey has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.2%, but it's higher for certain questions and sub-groupings.

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