During 2012 Campaigns, Should Candidates Talk About Climate Change?

Would your vote be influenced by a candidate’s ideas about climate change?


Tuesday’s primary followed the . and now that we have a new set of candidates (and maybe we’ve lost touch with our current legislators’ views, if we ever knew them) do you want to know each candidates stance on climate change?

According to a new study from Yale’s Center on Climate Change Communication, which showed that “55 percent of registered voters say that the candidates’ views on global warming will factor into their decisions in the polling booth,” as reported by the New York Times.

State Rep. Matthew Lesser, D-100th, who represents Middlefield, Durham, Rockfall and Middletown, was just given a perfect score by the

“Since his election in 2008, Matt has been one of a few legislators who has maintained a perfect environmental score each year,” said CTLCV Executive Director Lori Brown. 

“He has worked to advance public transportation in Connecticut and fought for the advancement of new recycling initiatives. CTLCV is proud to  endorse the candidacy of Matthew Lesser for re-election to the Connecticut General Assembly.”

The CTLCV rated state Carpino, who represents Cromwell, Portland and part of Middletown, described herself as “A legislator and a citizen who always has worked to preserve our state’s fragile environment and to protect our open space areas, forests, wetlands and watercourses from inappropriate development.”

State Rep. Joseph Serra, D-33rd, also received an 88 score. State Sen. Len Suzio, R-13th, received a perfect score, as did Rep. Gail Hamm, D-34th. Sen. Paul Doyle, D-9th, earned an 82 score.

Here are some highlights from the study:

  • a majority of all registered voters (55%) say they will consider candidates' views on global warming when deciding how to vote.
  • among these climate change issue voters, large majorities believe global warming is happening and support action by the U.S. to reduce global warming, even if it has economic costs.
  • Independents lean toward “climate action” and look more like Democrats than Republicans on the issue.
  • a pro-climate action position wins votes among Democrats and Independents, and has little negative impact with Republican voters.
  • policies to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels and promote renewable energy are favored by a majority of registered voters across party lines.
  • these patterns are found nationally and among ten swing states.

An earlier report, also published by Yale, found that measures taken on global warming and clean energy fronts should be priorities. Not only might they improve the environment, they could become economic drivers.

According to the study, those polled, “a majority also say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports a "revenue neutral" tax shift from income taxes to fossil fuels, and that global warming will be one of the issues that determines their vote for President this fall.”

A desire to hear a candidate’s stance on climate change or measures taken to mitigate it is not to say that you believe in climate change or everything you hear about it.

The New York Times also cited a Stanford-Washington University study that showed skepticism of climate change and scientists is rising. But, among those polled but “nearly three-quarters of those polled still say the earth is probably warming.”


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