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Report: Voters trust congressional Dems more than the GOP on environmental issues

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