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Rising number says climate change a crucial issue in 2020: poll

Nearly 40 percent of registered U.S. voters say a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" to them in deciding who they'll vote for in 2020, according to a poll released Thursday.

In the survey of nearly 1,100 registered voters, conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication, 38 percent deemed climate change "very important" as a voting issue.

Of 29 issues, respondents ranked global warming 17th in order of importance, but among those who identified as liberal Democrats, it's the third-most important issue. Among conservative Republicans, it's the last priority when voting for president.

Forty-five percent of those surveyed also said they'd support a U.S. president declaring global warming a national emergency if Congress doesn't take action.

So far, Democratic presidential hopefuls including Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (Texas) have deemed climate change a key part of their campaign platforms.

The poll indicates growing support for addressing climate change.

Ahead of the 2016 presidential election, the same groups found in a previous poll that global warming ranked 19th in importance in a set of 23 issues and was the sixth-most important among liberal Democrats while still at or near the bottom for conservative Republicans.

The 2019 poll was conducted between March 29-April 8. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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