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New Poll Shows If Democrats Don’t Do Something—ANYTHING—About Climate Change, We’re Screwed in 2022

And, you know, forever after that.

Hundreds of young climate activists rally in Lafayette Square on the north side of the White House

According to polling from TargetSmart, as things stand right now, young voters are not likely to turn out for the 2022 midterms, which would guarantee devastating losses for Democrats. But while nearly half (44%) of young voters (and 31% of Biden’s 2020 voters) aren’t sure if they’ll be voting in 2022, more than 3/4 of young voters say they would be “MUCH more motivated” to vote for Democrats in those midterms if the party takes strong action to combat climate change.

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The flip side of that is also true. Two-thirds of young Biden voters say they would be less likely to vote in 2022 if Democrats do nothing on climate change.

Biden and Democrats in Congress are currently working on pushing through climate bills from two different angles: both by including some provisions for clean energy and transit in a massive bipartisan infrastructure bill, and also via a larger, Democrat-led spending package.

They’re facing the traditional Democrat problems, though, of being caught between progressives saying the bills don’t go far enough while also tripping over themselves to try to cooperate with Republicans who are just going to stonewall them in the end.

Biden had indicated that he would veto the infrastructure bill if the Democrats’ package didn’t also move forward “in tandem” but he quickly walked that back. Meanwhile, an increasing number of progressive and even more centrist members of Congress have rallied with activists to signal a go big or go home, “no climate, no deal” approach to the infrastructure bill. (Those young Democratic voters, by the way, overwhelmingly couldn’t care less if climate change is obtained through bipartisan actions.)

The Republican party line is an insistence that climate issues have no place in an infrastructure package. That idea has always been wrong but this week it feels especially divorced from reality, as we’re forced to watch roads buckle, freeways flood, and buildings collapse.

Democrats need to do everything possible to make substantial strides to combat climate change and it’s becoming increasingly urgent–not just because the effects are becoming more devasting every day but because if they don’t, we are clearly bound to lose the midterm elections. And if Republicans gain control of the House and/or the Senate, it will be absolutely impossible to get anything done. At the risk of sounding too doomsday about things, this may quite literally be our last chance.

(image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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