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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Global warming has burst into national politics as major Democratic 2020 hopefuls release aggressive plans and the party's voters prioritize the topic.

Where it stands: Several polls show climate change has broken through. This month, a CBS News survey found 78% of Democratic voters in early primary states call the topic "very important," putting it behind only health care.

Quick take: Forces prompting the increased attention from Democratic voters and candidates include...

  • Trump abandoning Obama-era policies.
  • High-profile Democrats led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez promoting the Green New Deal.
  • Heatwaves and scientific reports over the last year warning of the dangers of failing to stem emissions.

What they're saying: Zac McCrary with the Democratic polling firm ALG Research said the voter interest isn't a fad. Instead there's been a "fundamental, foundational shift in voters' attitudes, rather than reacting to any given event or point in time," he said.

  • Voter interest and a record of campaign trail promises could prompt a Democratic president to devote real political capital to tougher policies.
  • But, but, but: Absent unexpectedly large Democratic gains in the Senate or a change to filibuster rules, major legislation faces daunting odds.

What to watch: CNN will host a presidential candidate forum on climate change in September, and MSNBC is a media partner on another event — strong signals of the topic's entry to the national political stage.

Read more about the impacts of climate change we're tracking:

Go deeper

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.