Democratic candidate: Attitude of Iowa farmers towards climate change is 'night and day'

A Democrat looking to unseat Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingSteve King defends remarks on rape, incest The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Steve King says 'left-wing media' and GOP leadership owe him apology after rape, incest comments MORE (R) in Iowa’s 4th District said Friday that the attitude among farmers towards climate change has changed significantly over the past few years. 

"Is the topic of climate change — is that something people are starting to talk about," Hill.TV co-host Krystal Ball asked.

“It’s night and day with that issue from where we started two years ago to now, especially with all of the 2020 candidates talking about it and going around,” J.D. Scholten responded, referring to a number of 2020 Democrats who have been campaigning at the Iowa State Fair this week. 

“They know something’s different — in our planting season, in our harvest season, it’s a lot wetter and in the summer it’s a lot drier and all the reports show that agriculture’s going to be the biggest thing hit when it comes to climate change,” he continued.

Scholten added that people in his district are “opening up” to the idea of climate change, which has become a top issue among Democratic presidential candidates in the 2020 race.

Scholten came within single digits of defeating King last November. He announced on Monday that he will challenge the Republican again and he remains confident about his chances.

"The level of excitement already⁠ — we've had three events, we had a rally⁠ — and we have more people," Scholten told Hill.TV. "People I didn't see the entire last time." 

However, King must first win a GOP primary. The nine-term congressman is currently facing two Republican challengers — Iowa state Sen. Randy Feenstra and local county supervisor Jeremy Taylor.

King, who has developed a reputation for his hardline immigration views, has faced a number of controversies this past year.

During an interview with The New York Times in January, King questioned why terms like “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” have become offensive.

House Republicans subsequently voted to condemn the remarks and removed King from the Judiciary and Agriculture Committees.

King has also come under fire for supporting far-right candidates in Europe and Canada.

⁠—Tess Bonn

Updated Aug. 17 at 12:27 p.m.