Greens say voters in close races support climate policies

Voters in midterm election “battleground” states support policies that aim to mitigate climate change, the Sierra Club said.

That conclusion is based on a poll it recently commissioned in six states, finding that even states that elected Republicans to the Senate have strong support for climate policies.

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“The numbers show … what we’ve been saying all along, which is that voters in the 2014 midterms elections did not vote for dirty air, dirty water or climate denial,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune told reporters Friday.

“In fact, what the results do show is that no matter who they supported in the elections, voters, even in the most hotly contested races, they want their senators to act on climate, and they want action now,” Brune said.

The poll, conducted by the liberal-leaning Hart Research Associates, focused on Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire and North Carolina, each of which had close Senate races. It also surveyed voters in Pennsylvania, which had a closely watched gubernatorial race.

“Huge majorities of midterm voters in each of those states want their senators to act,” Brune said.

That includes the Republicans who won: Colorado’s Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerWe need a '9-1-1' for mental health — we need '9-8-8' Overnight Energy: US Park Police say 'tear gas' statements were 'mistake' | Trump to reopen area off New England coast for fishing | Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump juggles three crises ahead of November election MORE, Iowa’s Joni Ernst and North Carolina’s Thom Tillis.

At least 64 percent of voters in each of the states in the poll want their representatives to do something to fight climate change, as well as a plurality of Republicans in each state.

And by the same 64 percent margin, voters support the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rules to limit carbon pollution from power plants, the Sierra Club said.

The group said it is presenting its survey as a “road map” for the new Republican-controlled Senate. Specifically, Brune targeted incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Energy: US Park Police say 'tear gas' statements were 'mistake' | Trump to reopen area off New England coast for fishing | Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump juggles three crises ahead of November election Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues in battle to save seats MORE (R-Ky.), who has identified attacking the EPA as a top priority for the ruling party.

“The newest members of the Senate would be wise to listen to those that elected them rather than Sen. McConnell,” Brune said. “These polling results making it clear that Sen. McConnell’s priorities are the opposite of the voting public’s.”