Feb 4, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Iowa caucusgoers view climate change as key issue

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Ahead of the Iowa caucus on Monday, polling showed "about four in 10 ranked health care as the most important issue facing the country, while three in 10 identified climate change as the top," AP reports.

The state of play: That's one of the results from polling conducted for several days before the event for AP and Fox News by a University of Chicago research group.

  • "[C]lose to 9 in 10 Iowa Democrats support taxing carbon-based fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas. Nearly half were strongly in favor of the proposal," they note.

The big picture: That's not the only polling to show climate change among Iowa Democrats' priorities. Via ABC News' coverage of their entrance poll...

  • "Forty-two percent of Democratic caucus participants called it the most important issue in their choice; of the rest, 21% picked climate change; 18%, income inequality; and 13%, foreign policy."

Quick take: That's consistent with various polls earlier in the election season that have shown climate change among the topics that voters in crucial state contests are most interested in.

Go deeper: Poll: Early state Democratic voters care about climate change

Go deeper

40% of Iowa caucusgoers said health care was their top priority

Bernie Sanders at his caucus night party in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Iowa Democrats reported Monday that their biggest priorities were beating President Trump and health care — but the meltdown of their election reporting systems left their presidential choices unresolved.

Why it matters: We've been writing for months that Democrats have a major choice ahead, either picking an advocate of Medicare for All — and siding with the plan that's less popular with the rest of the country — or a public option advocate.

The widening partisan divide on climate change

Reproduced from Pew Research Center U.S. Politics and Policy; Chart: Axios Visuals

The persistent partisan divide on climate change is getting wider, per a Pew Research Center survey.

The big picture: Since 2015, Democrats have become increasingly convinced (now at 78%) that climate change should be a top federal priority — while that same view among Republicans has remained relatively flat (now at 21%)

Go deeper: Climate change's surprise twist

Senators huddle over dinner with carbon-tax backers

Sen. Mike Braun. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Stringer/Getty Images

Nearly two dozen proponents of a carbon tax across the corporate, economic and advocacy spectrum pitched their climate plan to a bipartisan group of senators over dinner this week.

Why it matters: It's a concrete sign of the growing pressure facing lawmakers to pass big policy on climate change, even though the chances of that happening any time soon remain slim.