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 TrumpCNN's Don Lemon explains handling of segment after Trump criticism NPR reporter after Pompeo clash: Journalists don't interview government officials to score 'political points' Lawyer says Parnas can't attend Senate trial due to ankle bracelet 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 CruzCruz scolds reporter who brought up his daughters Can Democrats flip the Texas House? Today's result will provide a clue Republicans show little enthusiasm for impeachment witness swap MORE (R ), introduced a policy proposal Monday to fight climate change if elected.

Other Democratic candidates like Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden on whether Sanders can unify party as nominee: 'It depends' Overnight Health Care — Presented by Philip Morris International — HHS has no plans to declare emergency over coronavirus | GOP senator calls for travel ban to stop outbreak | Warren releases plan to contain infectious diseases Biden lines up high-profile surrogates to campaign in Iowa MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerOvernight Defense: White House threatens to veto House Iran bills | Dems 'frustrated' after Iran briefing | Lawmakers warn US, UK intel sharing at risk after Huawei decision White House Correspondents' Association blasts State for 'punitive action' against NPR Senate Democrat demands State Department reinstate NPR reporter on Pompeo trip MORE (D-N.J.) have each introduced similar policy proposals that touch on combating global warming.