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New polling numbers show that 52% of voters trust congressional Democrats more than Republicans to handle environmental issues, while 45% trust Democrats more than the GOP on energy, according to Morning Consult/Politico.

The big picture: 2020 Democrats face rising pressure to address climate change on the debate stage, and could have an edge in voter trust — but if they want to keep that edge, they'll need to figure out how to address the issue the right way.

  • According to Ryan Clancy, Joe Biden's former speechwriter and chief strategist at the bipartisan policy group No Labels, a winning candidate will show voters a realistic climate change solution "without a radical societal or economic disruption" and go beyond “extreme binary choices."
  • The other side: “I don’t think that Ocasio is a one-off,” Republican strategist Susan Del Percio said, referencing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and her wide-reaching and progressive Green New Deal resolution — which envisions a massively expanded federal role in emissions-cutting.

The bottom line: 44% of voters consider climate change "a critical threat to the vital interests" of the U.S. in the next 10 years, Morning Consult found.

  • A CNN poll from last month found that climate change is solidly in the top of Democratic primary voters' issues for 2020.
  • Two-thirds of Democrats say climate change poses a critical threat, compared to 1 in 5 Republicans, according to Morning Consult.

Go deeper: The Green New Deal is fueling a wild Democratic policy primary

Go deeper

Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill

Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.

The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) forced Senate clerks to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, which took nearly 11 hours and lasted until 2:05 a.m. Friday. The Senate then adjourned and is expected to reconvene at 9 a.m. to debate the bill before considering amendments.

1 hour ago - Health

Cuomo advisers reportedly altered July COVID-19 nursing homes report

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Seth Wenig/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's advisers successfully pushed state health officials to exclude certain data on the number of COVID-19 nursing home deaths from a July report, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday.

Why it matters: The changes resulted in a "significant undercount of the death toll attributed to the state’s most vulnerable population," the WSJ wrote.

Ro Khanna wary of Biden approach on Middle East

Rep. Ro Khanna. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

An outspoken progressive Democrat is wary of President Biden’s approach to the Middle East, arguing it’s like “conceding defeat of the aspiration” to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Why it matters: A number of members of Biden’s own party dislike his Middle East strategy, as his administration signals the region is no longer the priority it was for President Obama and his predecessors.