Joe Biden's environmental donors

Welcome to HEATED, a Monday through Thursday e-mail newsletter devoted to original reporting and analysis on the climate crisis.

Today’s edition is about Joe Biden. And I know you might be thinking, Emily no, you already did a Joe Biden issue, please talk about literally anyone else on the planet. And I get that. That’s fair.

But a poll released this morning shows that Biden is still the favorite presidential candidate of climate-conscious Democratic primary voters. Also, a tipster sent me a whole bunch of Biden fundraising invitations for the month of October, which list the names of several rich people who do environment- and climate-related work. So I figured, if climate voters prefer the former vice president, they might also like to know which rich climate people are banking on Biden, too. Right?

Right. Now, here’s an unrelated climate change/Lizzo meme—

An Inconvenient Truth Hurts...? @lizzobeeating
October 7, 2019

—and let’s get to it.

The preferred choice of “climate voters”

Since June, the Sierra Club has been working with Morning Consult to produce polls about “climate voters”—aka, Democratic primary voters who say candidates’ climate plans are a “very important” factor in their choice about who to vote for.

Biden has been climate voters’ top candidate in every poll so far. And Tuesday’s poll was no different, as the chart below shows.

Biden’s lead has, however, been slowly narrowing—and Elizabeth Warren has been picking up steam. Since the last poll was conducted in late August, the senator from Massachusetts has risen 10 percentage points among climate voters, and Biden has fallen by 6 percentage points. Warren is now in second place. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is in third.

These are interesting results, considering Biden’s plan to tackle the climate crisis isn’t as aggressive as some of his lower-ranking rivals. The environmental group Greenpeace ranks Biden’s $1.7 trillion proposal to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 as the sixth best Democratic presidential candidate climate plan. Sanders’ $16 trillion plan to eliminate fossil fuel use by 2050 ranks first; Warren’s $3 trillion plan to achieve 100 percent zero-emission electric generation by 2035 ranks second.

But it also makes sense, because these “climate voters” aren’t just basing their candidate choice on climate plans. They’re saying climate plans are a “very important” factor in their decision-making. Indeed, the Sierra Club/Morning Consult poll notes, “climate voters” now represent 62 percent of all Democratic primary voters. That’s a 6 percent increase since June.

That being said, 76 percent of climate voters said they would consider changing their vote if another Democratic candidate released a “more ambitious” plan in the future. Only 7 percent said they would not consider changing their vote.

Who’s banking on Biden’s plan?

As I was going through the names on these Biden fundraiser invitations for October, I was surprised to see not only a lot of rich environmental people, but a lot of different types of rich environmental people.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are a few of the people I saw listed:

What do you think about all that, climate voter?

Let me know, and we’ll put some responses in tomorrow’s issue:

That’s all for today—thanks for reading HEATED!

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