Climate change had mixed showing in 2020 elections

  • “The fear that a lot of House members have is that going forward, Republicans will use this issue in trying to take back the House in 2022.”
  • “That is not a governing alignment designed to address climate change,” said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
  • But otherwise, their return on investment is not looking good. Out of 21 races across the Senate and House LCV invested in, it looks likely they will have won six and lost 15 (five races were still not officially called, but clear winners were emerging).
  • “I don’t want to sugarcoat it,” said Gene Karpinski, LCV president, on a call with reporters last week. “We didn’t win every state. We won the most important one.”
  • A LCV spokeswoman said that 55% of their overall investment in federal races ($50 million out of $90 million) went to winning races so far.
  • Democratic Sen. Ed Markey’s ambitious climate policy helped propel his win in a close primary battle in September in the solidly blue state of Massachusetts (he easily won the general election last week).
  • But voters in Florida, at the frontlines of the impacts of a warming world, voted for Trump even more strongly this year compared to four years ago.
  • This reflects the fact that although climate change is rising as a priority for Americans, “it hasn’t yet become so important — even in places incredibly vulnerable like Miami — to overcome political allegiances, specifically among Republicans,” says Anthony Leiserowitz, director of Yale University’s Program on Climate Change Communication.
  • Biden lost badly to Trump in portions of Southwestern Pennsylvania and Southeastern Ohio, at least partly due to his conflicting comments on fracking (and Trump’s attacks on them), according to G. Terry Madonna, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.
  • Republicans beat a couple of Democrats in moderate districts who tried to distance themselves from Biden’s agenda, including Democratic Reps. Kendra Horn of Oklahoma and Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico.
  • “It is possible that perceived hostility to oil and gas hurt Biden and Democrats in places,” Kondik said. “It may have contributed to some House Democratic losses, such as Kendra Horn and Xochitl Torres Small.”
  • EDF’s advocacy partners, which spent nearly $19 million this year, are likely to have a 55%-60% winning record across its priority races, Bonfiglio says. That’s similar to past years (but lower than 2018).



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Creosote Partners

Creosote Partners


Creosote Partners is an Arizona firm focused on legislative advocacy, coalition building, and strategic communications.