Dec 18, 2018

The "Green New Deal" is a popular mystery to voters

Photo: Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

A survey from Yale and George Mason universities finds that respondents really like the "Green New Deal," a sweeping climate and economic proposal being pushed by a growing number of Democrats under the leadership of progressive newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Details: 81% of registered voters either "strongly" or "somewhat" support these features of the deal: a move to 100% renewable power within 10 years, upgrades to grid and other infrastructure, and job training. This includes nearly two-thirds of Republican respondents.

Yes but: There are some big caveats here. The poll question only partially describes the proposal, which also includes job guarantees and universal health care, among other aspects. I don't know how that might change the answers one way or the other.

Of note: The analysis accompanying the poll makes two other big points...

  • 82% of voters had never heard of the idea.
  • The question did not mention that the proposal is coming from the Left.

The bottom line: "For any survey respondents who were previously unaware of the deal, it is likely that their reactions have not yet been influenced by partisan loyalty," the authors of the analysis note. Polarization over it could grow moving forward, they said.

Climate change: A new NBC/WSJ poll shows that "66 percent of Americans now say they've seen enough evidence to justify action on climate change, up from 51 percent two decades ago," per CNBC.

  • However, "A 56 percent majority of the GOP says either that concern about climate change is unwarranted or that more research is necessary before taking action."

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Pandemic forces startups to shift gears

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Spaces CEO Brad Herman had an early warning about COVID-19 because his startup supplies VR attractions to a number of theme parks in China. Realizing that the business he spent the last few years building was going to evaporate, Herman quickly found a new way to apply his team's know-how: helping companies host Zoom teleconferences in VR.

Why it matters: Many startups are rethinking the viability of their core businesses in the wake of the coronavirus. Spaces' move is one of many such pivots likely to crop up in the coming months.

International coronavirus treatment trial uses AI to speed results

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The first hospital network in the U.S. has joined an international clinical trial using artificial intelligence to help determine which treatments for patients with the novel coronavirus are most effective on an on-going basis.

Why it matters: In the midst of a pandemic, scientists face dueling needs: to find treatments quickly and to ensure they are safe and effective. By using this new type of adaptive platform, doctors hope to collect clinical data that will help more quickly determine what actually works.

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We can't just flip the switch on the coronavirus

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It feels like some big, terrible switch got flipped when the coronavirus upended our lives — so it’s natural to want to simply flip it back. But that is not how the return to normalcy will go.

The big picture: Even as the number of illnesses and deaths in the U.S. start to fall, and we start to think about leaving the house again, the way forward will likely be slow and uneven. This may feel like it all happened suddenly, but it won't end that way.