By Roz Brown
Las Vegas and Reno are two of the fastest-warming cities in the United States, which means many voters in Nevada’s caucuses this week want to know what presidential candidates plan to do about the climate crisis.
Six Democratic presidential contenders debated at the Paris Theater in Las Vegas on Feb. 19 ahead of Saturday’s caucuses.
Andy Maggi, executive director of the Nevada Conservation League, said the group’s new Public Policy Polling survey shows the environment is a crucial issue for caucus-goers across all demographics.
“Eighty-six percent of likely caucus-goers think that climate and the environment are very important, if not the most important issue – this a top-two concern for voters, after health care,” he said.
Participants in the Nevada debate included Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren..
“You’re seeing an incredible increase in the number of heat-related deaths here in southern Nevada — increases in things like asthma attacks, lost days of school, lost days of work. And if you’re a person of color, those things are impacting you even at higher rates.”
Andy Maggi, Nevada Conservation League
According to the poll, Democratic caucus-goers in Nevada say they’re more likely to support candidates who prioritize the environment and climate change in their policy plans. Maggi said that’s likely because Nevadans already feel the effects of climate change and they want a new president who would tackle the issue on Day One of their administration.
“You’re seeing an incredible increase in the number of heat-related deaths here in southern Nevada — increases in things like asthma attacks, lost days of school, lost days of work,” he said. “And if you’re a person of color, those things are impacting you even at higher rates.”
Among Latinxs, the poll showed climate ranks first at 28%, followed by achieving universal health care at 21%. Ninety-one percent of respondents also said they want to see the federal government restore rules that stop polluters from putting toxics in the water and air, while just 6% oppose that priority. The poll surveyed 859 likely Democratic caucus voters in Nevada.
The poll results are online at lcv.org.
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