Tags: climate | change | Steyer | hyperlocal

Tom Steyer: Voters View Climate Change at 'Hyperlocal' Level

Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 06:12 PM

Climate change resonates with voters more on a local than a national level, billionaire hedge fund trader turned Democratic fundraiser Tom Steyer said Wednesday, reflecting on the 2014 mid-term elections.

Steyer made a splash ahead of this month's elections, spending over $70 million to back candidates who took strong positions on climate change policy in key congressional and gubernatorial races.

But the spending of his NextGen Climate Action political committee yielded mixed results, with just three wins for strong climate advocates out of the seven candidates backed.

Discussing the results, Steyer said what was clear that Tuesday was that local angles about the impact of climate change resonated more with voters.

"If you talk in generalities, if you talk from the point of view of the globe and the point of view of science, you are in a lot of trouble," Steyer told a conference hosted by the liberal Center for American Progress. "For this issue to resonate with people, you have to speak on a hyperlocal basis and you have to speak on a human basis."

Some Steyer-backed candidates lost heavily, including Colorado incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Udall and Iowa's U.S. Senate hopeful Bruce Braley. Critics declared that Steyer's bet on climate had flopped.

Oklahoma U.S. Senator James Inhofe, a climate change denier who will take over as chair of the Senate environment committee in January, has said the mid-terms proved that voters rejected climate change as a priority issue.

As election day approached, NextGen and other green groups were pivoting away from climate in their ads, switching to issues like job creation, corruption and reproductive rights.

Looking ahead to the 2016 elections, Steyer said he feels a candidate cannot run on a platform that doesn't recognize climate change as a problem.

"There aren't too many science deniers anymore because they can't get elected," he said.

When asked about the 14 Democratic Senators who on Tuesday joined Republicans to support a bill to green-light the Keystone XL pipeline, which fell one vote short of passage, Steyer paused, and then said:

"Being wrong on these issues has not paid off for anybody."

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Climate change resonates with voters more on a local than a national level, billionaire hedge fund trader turned Democratic fundraiser Tom Steyer said Wednesday, reflecting on the 2014 mid-term elections.Steyer made a splash ahead of this month's elections, spending over...
climate, change, Steyer, hyperlocal
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2014-12-19
Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 06:12 PM
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