The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

Green goes across the aisle for November elections

The November elections might mean big changes for the congressional makeup of Washington. If the GOP intends to win the Senate majority and retain it down the road, they must cultivate vital relationships with their green allies.

Republicans are expected to win in at least three Senate races: West Virginia, South Dakota, and Montana. Many political experts see the Republicans winning the Senate majority. Polling aggregation website FiveThiryEight gives Republicans a 64 percent chance of taking the Senate.

{mosads}Although green-minded organizations and voters tend to be traditionally left-leaning, moderate groups such as the Environmental Defense Action Fund are working across the aisle to fund any candidate willing to take on green issues. Environmental organizations would be wise to partner with Republican candidates before the election season is in full swing. The Environmental Defense Action Fund has already committed at least $1 million to Republican candidates in the upcoming elections. The organization has previously supported House Republicans who have stood out from their GOP counterparts on climate change.

The group’s effort to promote bipartisan strategy is a bold approach to campaign advocacy. Their partner organization – the Environmental Defense Fund – is investing in research and strategy to get young voters out to the 2014 Colorado Senate race. The $2 million investment is an attempt to see if a specific issue can bring new voters out to the polls.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been outspoken in recent weeks about the GOP’s need to expand its traditional foundation. Branching out and allying with environmental and energy groups is one way the GOP can assure its relevance in the upcoming elections and again in 2016. The GOP must find a way to connect with young voters in states that are expecting close races for both the House and Senate.

Nature conservancy and environmental preservation are topics that impact both Republicans and Democrats. Young voters are a constant revolving door of untapped resources for parties come election time. The recent New York City Climate March that brought out an estimated 300,000 attendees is a fantastic indicator that millennials want to be part of the conversation when it comes to the environment. For the midterm elections, it is vital that both parties aim to garner the support of voters under the age of thirty.

Young voters are active in terms of engaging issues relating to the environment. As the GOP seeks to tap into both independents and the youth vote, they must adjust their approach towards green issues in order to gain the support they need from more organizations like the EDAF.

States like Colorado and Louisiana are expected to have close races and either a candidate or influential environmental organization making the first move to grab voters could mean the difference between winning and losing. There is no single clear-cut issue dominating the 2014 election landscape. Parties will gain support by leading the way on state-specific issue areas.

Some states have more urgent needs than others in terms of environmental preservation. Louisiana is a state in constant flux when it comes to managing their surrounding environment. Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy currently represents Louisiana’s sixth district and is running against incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) for her Senate seat. While Cassidy is Republican, he is also a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and serves on the subcommittees for Health, Energy and Power, and Environment and the Economy. The 2014 Cassidy for Senate campaign website claims that, “coastal restoration is one of Bill’s top priorities.”

Louisiana is a state that may have us counting votes into the days after the election. Current polling has the Senate race in Louisiana at a virtual stalemate. Small, concentrated, and outspoken efforts on topics related to energy and the environment may make the difference in states like Louisiana.

As the president’s party expects to be ousted in the midterm elections, the GOP is still struggling to find a common identity. The solution to the problem in the short-term may be taking a stand and creating alliances in issue-specific areas such as the environment. The party that can connect with young voters and create new avenues of partnership will fair better in 2014 as well as set itself up for future success.

Floyd is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Master of Public Administration program and a current intern for a House Committee on Capitol Hill.

Tags Mary Landrieu Rand Paul

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

More Politics News

See All
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video