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Many regions facing the biggest economic threats from global warming voted for President Trump and GOP candidates in the 2018 midterms, new analysis released via the Brookings Institution shows.

Expand chart
Data: Brookings; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Why it matters: It highlights how lots of areas facing the greatest peril are backing policymakers who oppose strong federal steps to cut emissions.

  • But the authors argue that the granular data offers a political opportunity to push for climate policies — if advocates can get the message right.

What they did: The paper uses data on projected long-term harm and benefits by region from the Climate Impact Lab research consortium.

  • They examined changes in farm yields, coastal damage from rising seas, heat-related threats to workers, and more.
  • The authors grafted those projections onto voting patterns in recent elections.

What they found: "Activists who want to change the political equation can derive a clear strategy from the harm data: Work in the reddish swing states by focusing spotlights and cost accounting on the severe economic effect wrought by climate change," the paper states.

  • "Party attitudes on climate change could shift quickly there as people are confronted with climate reality," argues the analysis titled, "How the geography of climate damage could make the politics less polarizing."

By the numbers: 9 of the 10 states facing the biggest long-term losses in county income voted for Trump in 2016, including Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama, the analysis states.

  • Counties that voted for Trump will face, by the end of the century, average GDP loss of 4.8%, compared to 3.3% in counties that Hillary Clinton carried, the paper estimates.
  • In congressional districts that backed Republicans last November, residents face an average 4.4% hit to regional income, compared to a 2.7% loss projected for districts that backed Democratic candidates.

The bottom line: "Drill down on the political geography of climate damage and it becomes clear that in much of the country Republicans are voting for people who are opposed to climate policy, even as they are most exposed to climate impacts," the paper states.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congressman criminally charged with lying to feds

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) has been indicted on charges he falsified records and lied to federal investigators probing an illegal foreign donation scheme, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Driving the news: DOJ says a Fortenberry associate, who later cooperated with investigators, informed him he'd likely received illegal donations from an intermediary for a foreign national, but that Fortenberry denied any knowledge of such a scheme when contacted by the FBI.

"Assassin's Creed," but for schools

"Viking Age: Discovery Tour." Image via Ubisoft

For the third time since 2018, Ubisoft is releasing a nonviolent version of its latest “Assassin’s Creed” game as part of a unique effort to turn one of the medium’s most popular series into an educational tool.

Driving the news:Viking Age: Discovery Tour” transforms last year’s “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla” from a bloody 150-hour game about Viking conquest in 9th century England into a peaceful four-hour game about merchants and monks.

School enrollment fell by almost 3 million from 2019 to 2020

Kindergarten student Natalia Bayoumi holds the hand of her father Amir Bayoumi as he walks to the front door of Normont Elementary School in Harbor City, CA. Photo: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The number of individuals enrolled in the U.S. education system dropped by 2.9 million from 2019 to 2020, according to new data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.

Why it matters: This marks the lowest level of school enrollment for those under 35 years-old in over 20 years, per the Census Bureau.