One 2020 Thing: Climate Politics and the Iowa Caucus 

The Iowa Caucuses are on Monday and will be the first real contest of the 2020 presidential race. For the first time, climate change is a top-tier issue that Iowans are concerned with due to last year’s catastrophic flooding. While polls show a very tight race, for the more moderate candidates like Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Amy Klobuchar, climate change has become an unexpectedly contentious issue.

Progressive Democrats find Biden and Klobuchar’s stance on banning fracking to be unacceptable and don’t believe they will bring about drastic change. To that, Biden and Klobuchar have responded that their climate plans might actually have a shot at securing 60 votes in the Senate (which could still likely remain in Republican control after the 2020 election). Additionally, Democratic strategists worry that an anti-fracking agenda might sink Democrats in swing states like Pennsylvania.

But when the moderates are competing against an ultra-progressive climate plan like Senator Bernie Sanders’, the necessary conversation about the 60-vote threshold gets drowned out. At this point, the 2020 race is starting to get real and asking how candidates would enact their policy ideas is a fair question.

As the New York Times put it:

“Of course, no Democratic plan has a chance without the White House, and no Democrat will win the presidency without swing states where the fossil fuel industry employs thousands, such as Pennsylvania, which Mr. Trump won by less than 1 percentage point.”

Cartoon by: Alex Bowman

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