Will The Climate Crisis Be The Deciding Factor Of 2020?

The 10 most recent polls that measured the public's feelings about voting for Congress next year all came up with the same conclusion-- that the Democrats have this one. The polling average is about 6 points in the Democrats' favor with a Morning Consult poll from this week showing the Democrats ahead by 12 points, enough the flip the 50 seats we're looking for. Going all the way back to January, there have been 63 polls asking this question and only one showed a tie. The other 62 showed the Democrats ahead.

In part this is being pushed by an expected voter-turnout tsunami. If Bernie is the nominee... what's bigger than a tsunami? Other than Bernie, Trump fuels the eagerness for voters-- in this far out-- to get to the polls. And most have only one goal: to vote him and his Republican enablers out of office.

Most Democrats have nothing to offer other than "Trump is bad; we're not as bad." Conventional wisdom journalist Ron Brownstein reported in The Atlantic that "signs are growing that voter turnout in 2020 could reach the highest levels in decades-- if not the highest in the past century-- with a surge of new voters potentially producing the most diverse electorate in American history... In a recent paper, the Democratic voter-targeting firm Catalist projected that about 156 million people could vote in 2020, an enormous increase from the 139 million who cast ballots in 2016... [A]s many as two-thirds of eligible voters may vote next year. If that happens, it would represent the highest presidential-year turnout since 1908, when 65.7 percent of eligible Americans cast a ballot, according to McDonald’s figures. Since 18-year-olds were granted the vote, the highest showing was the 61.6 percent of eligible voters who showed up in 2008, leading to Barack Obama’s victory. And since World War II, the highest turnout level came in 1960, with John F. Kennedy’s win, when 63.8 percent of voters participated... [T]he clearest sign that high turnout may be approaching in 2020 is that it already arrived in 2018. In last year’s midterm, nearly 120 million people voted, about 35 million more than in the previous midterm, in 2014, with 51 percent of eligible voters participating-- a huge increase over the previous three midterms. The 2018 level represented the largest share of eligible voters to turn out in a midterm year since 1914, according to McDonald’s figures. Catalist estimated that about 14 million new voters who had not participated in 2016 turned out two years later, and they preferred Democrats by a roughly 20-percentage-point margin."

OK, now here's the important part:

The nature of the population eligible to vote is evolving in a way that should indeed help Democrats. McDonald estimates that the number of eligible voters increases by about 5 million each year, or about 20 million from one presidential election to the next. That increase predominantly flows from two sources: young people who turn 18 and immigrants who become citizens. Since people of color are now approaching a majority of the under-18 population-- and also constitute most immigrants-- McDonald and other experts believe it’s likely that minorities represent a majority of the people who have become eligible to vote since 2016.

The generational contrast in the eligible voting pool is also stark. States of Change, a nonpartisan project studying shifts in the electorate, projects that Millennials (born, according to the organization’s definition, from 1981 to 2000) will constitute 34.2 percent of eligible voters next year. Post-Millennials (born after 2000) will make up another 3.4 percent. That means those two groups combined will virtually equal the share of eligible voters composed of Baby Boomers (28.4 percent) and the Silent and Greatest Generations (another 9.4 percent).

These shifts have enormous implications because of the generational gulf in attitudes toward Trump and the parties more broadly. His approval rating has consistently lagged among the more racially diverse, socially tolerant younger generations. Though Trump and the GOP have shown some signs of weakness recently among seniors, he has generally polled much better among voters older than 50, in part because a much larger share of Americans in that cohort are white.

But it isn't just racial diversity and social tolerance that's working against conservatives. Among Millennials, the existential danger of Climate Change is the single most important issue and they're aware that Republicans-- and to a lesser extent conservative Democrats-- are not paying attention-- or worse-- to a world hurtling towards disaster. Earlier today we looked at the elections between 1928 and 1936, where Republican majorities in the Senate (56 Republicans to 39 Democrats) and House (270 Republicans to 164 Democrats) flipped to 74 Democrats, 17 Republicans and 4 Democratic allies in the Senate and an astonishing 334 Democrats and 88 Republicans and 13 Democratic allies in the House. In 4 consecutive election cycles the House Republicans went from 270 seats to 88 seats. That's when the Democrats knew who they were and what they were offering voters, long before they decided to go with flaccid, meaningless non-leaders like Pelosi, Hoyer, Bustos, Luján, Jeffries, Schumer and the rest of the garbage the Democrats have calling the shots.

The Green New Deal inspires millennial voters the way the turgid and lesser-of-two-evils Democratic Party couldn't hope to-- at least not under the geriatric and visionless leaders now guiding it. Pelosi is so clueless that she is openly fighting it-- as are the most clueless of the presidential candidates. That video up top was made by Action Network. Lauren Windsor was ta the Democratic Party State Convention a couple of weeks ago, interviewing politicians of all stripes about banning fracking and ending spending on fossil fuel infrastructure. "Democrats," she wrote, "historically have embraced the so-called 'bridge' fuel as a middle-ground approach to solving climate change, but methane leaks wipe out the emissions advantage over coal, and fracking pollutes water tables and causes earthquakes... Natural gas is a bridge fuel to nowhere in terms of solving the climate crisis."

First up was the easiest-- Washington Governor Jay Inslee, who is 100% there. Second looked like he might eb trouble. Adam Schiff is a Blue Dog who turned New Dem and who has been a career-long conservative... but one who has been moving with the times. Schiff told Windsor exactly what he's been telling his constituents. He signed on as an ordinal co-sponsor of AOC's Green New Deal Resolution and he supports a ban on fracking, which he said he "strongly" opposes. Cory Booker avoided the question clumsily but Katie Hill, reticently admitted she supports all the right anti-fracking measures. Mike Levin was more aggressively anti-fracking and "absolutely" agreed that we're in a climate crisis which he was comfortably able to expound upon. Same for Ro Khanna. It's interesting to watch politicians who are comfortable talking about the topic-- like Khanna and Levin and Hill once her handler got out of the way and let her be herself-- as compared to politicians less sure of themselves on the topic. It's kind of wonderful when you don't have to pressure politicians to do the right thing because they want to do the right thing. Her last interview was with the only real asshole she had to deal with Colorado's ex-Governor John Frackenlooper. "John Hickenlooper, she told me today "is known as 'Frackenlooper' by environmental activists for his love of natural gas as a bridge fuel. He once drank fracking fluid to prove that it was safe. Now that he’s running for president-- and climate change has become a focal point of the race due to the Green New Deal-- he’s tap dancing around that position by supporting essentially an 'all-of-the-above' energy strategy."

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