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-CortezMarkey fundraises ahead of Kennedy primary challenge The Hill's Campaign Report: De Blasio drops out | Warren gains support from black voters | Sanders retools campaign team | Warning signs for Tillis in NC Progressives push for changes to Pelosi drug pricing plan 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 PelosiBiden blasts Trump, demands he release transcript of call with foreign leader Pelosi wants to change law to allow a sitting president to be indicted Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes | Senators press FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately | House panel tees up e-cig hearing for next week MORE's (D-Calif.) office last month. 

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneHouse reaches deal on continuing resolution, vote expected Thursday Democrats hold first hearing in push for clean energy by 2050 EXCLUSIVE: Swing-state voters oppose 'surprise' medical bill legislation, Trump pollster warns 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