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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 1 hour ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

5 hours ago - Health

WHO: Not yet known whether Omicron leads to more severe disease

Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Sunday said that it is not yet clear whether the newly discovered Omicron variant is more transmissible than other strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Why it matters: The agency's statement comes as the variant, discovered in South Africa, has already been detected in European and Asian countries.

10 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.