Pollster says progressives making climate change a signature issue

Pollster Mallory Newall said on Monday that progressives within the Democratic Party are making climate change their signature issue ahead of the new Congress in 2019. 

"We are hearing that certain segments of the Democratic Party are talking about climate change more, such as a Green New Deal. [Rep.-elect] Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Romney helps GOP look for new path on climate change Overnight Energy: Interior reverses decision at heart of Zinke criminal probe | Dem divisions deepen over approach to climate change | GM to add 400 workers to build electric cars MORE [D-N.Y.] is campaigning for one right now," Newall, research director at Ipsos Public Affairs, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking." 

"I think what you're seeing is that climate change is a bigger issue among Democrats than among Republicans or independents but it's a certain sect within the Democratic Party where climate change is kind of becoming this issue that they're using to generate some buzz and some noise," she continued. 

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report in October that warned some effects of climate change could be irreversible in 12 years, while the U.S. government released a report earlier this month that found climate change would shrink the U.S. economy by the end of the century. 

Ocasio-Cortez, who has expressed interest in serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, participated in a Green New Deal protest outside House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Omar controversies shadow Dems at AIPAC Five things to watch as AIPAC conference kicks off MORE's (D-Calif.) office last month. 

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneBooker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Hillicon Valley: EU hits Google with .7 billion antitrust fine | GOP steps up attack over tech bias claims | Dems ask FTC for budget wishlist | Justices punt on Google privacy settlement Dems ask FTC if it needs more money to protect privacy MORE (D-N.J.), who is set to become chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter to acting Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler demanding records and information on the Trump administration’s rollbacks of numerous climate change policies. 

A Pew Research Center survey released last month found that 64 percent of Democrats polled said climate change should be the highest foreign policy priority, while 22 percent of Republicans said the same. 

— Julia Manchester