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U.S. Voters May Treat Climate Action as 2016 Litmus Test

Climate change is emerging as a potential litmus test in the 2016 U.S. election, with a large proportion of respondents telling a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll they’ll be looking for candidates who support climate action.

“When it comes to 2016, a full 58% of registered voters say they favour a candidate who will take action to fight climate change—and 38% of all voters think that position is very or extremely important,” the Post reports. On the other side, “more than half of those who oppose government action don’t consider the issue to be as important.”

The results reinforce the idea that climate hawks as candidates can reap a political advantage. “Almost three times as many people enthusiastically support a 2016 candidate who will back government action on climate change than adamantly oppose that idea,” Bump writes. The mitigating factor: “The economy and other issues are consistently seen as more important to voters when they’re actually in the polling booth.”