Poll: Climate change is top issue for registered Democrats

Poll: Climate change is top issue for registered Democrats
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Climate change action is the top issue for Democratic voters, according to a new national poll out Tuesday.

The CNN poll found that 82 percent of registered voters who identified as Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents listed climate change as a "very important" top priority they’d like to see get the focus of a presidential candidate.

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The issue was trailed by universal government-provided health care, at 75 percent, and executive action on stricter gun control measures at 65 percent. Impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE ranked fifth on the list of priorities for Democratic voters, at 43 percent.

The poll is the first national survey to show climate change rising to the top of the ranks among issues Democrats plan to focus on in the 2020 election.

In March polling of likely Democratic Iowa caucusgoers found that climate change was the No. 2 issue respondents wanted to hear candidates spend “a lot” of time talking about. Eighty percent of respondents to that poll listed climate change as the top issue while health care edged as the top concern with 81 percent.

Only 14 percent of Republican voters in the same poll listed climate change as a major threat.

Environmentalists have made strides in recent elections to link the effects of global warming and human and health. Recent super storms, historical fires and prevalent drought have helped push climate change to the forefront as a visible threat.

Many Democratic hopefuls have seized on the topic to get an edge in the saturated primary race. Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D), who in 2018 ran unsuccessfully for the Senate against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate Republicans air complaints to Trump administration on trade deal Senate passes Armenian genocide resolution Houston police chief stands by criticism of McConnell, Cruz, Cornyn: 'This is not political' MORE (R ), introduced a policy proposal Monday to fight climate change if elected.

Other Democratic candidates like Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSaagar Enjeti says Buttigieg's release of McKinsey client list shows he 'caved to public pressure' On The Money: Lawmakers strike spending deal | US, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline | Lighthizer fails to quell GOP angst over new NAFTA Bill Weld: As many as six GOP senators privately support convicting Trump MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerTrump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Wisconsin: poll Booker says he will not make December debate stage White House makes push for paid family leave and child care reform MORE (D-N.J.) have each introduced similar policy proposals that touch on combating global warming.