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-CortezThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump threatens jail time over 'treason' and 'spying' Lewandowski: Why Joe Biden won't make it to the White House — again Overnight Health Care — Presented by Campaign for Accountability — House passes drug pricing bills amid ObamaCare row | Senate Republicans running away from Alabama abortion law | Ocasio-Cortez confronts CEO over K drug price tag 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 PelosiOn The Money: Treasury rejects Dem subpoena for Trump tax returns | Companies warn trade war about to hit consumers | Congress, White House to launch budget talks next week | Trump gets deal to lift steel tariffs on Mexico, Canada Maxine Waters: Trump 'has done everything that one could even think of to be eligible for impeachment' Trump knocks Mulvaney for casting doubt on chances of infrastructure deal MORE's (D-Calif.) office last month. 

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Restrictive state abortion laws ignite fiery 2020 debate Work on surprise medical bills goes into overdrive Overnight Health Care — Presented by Campaign for Accountability — Alabama bill heats up fight over abortion | 2020 Dems blast bill | ACLU challenges Ohio abortion law | NC sues e-cig maker Juul | Flurry of activity on surprise medical bills 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