Air Wars on Climate, Environment, and Conservation Continue Across Senate and House Battlegrounds
Washington, D.C. — The climate crisis is real and it’s happening right now. A summer of deadly climate fires, supercharged hurricanes, and other climate-fueled extreme weather events has put climate change at the center of the debate heading into the home stretch of the election. As daily life for people across the country has been upended and the cost of science denial has become all too apparent, voters are citing growing concerns about climate change and are demanding bold action.
Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris call climate change one of the four major crises that the country is facing. Proving once again 2020 will be a climate change election, TV ads on climate, the environment, and conservation are playing a significant role in key races.
It’s not surprising candidates and third-party groups in key races are running ads focused on climate and the environment. An April Yale Program on Climate Change Communication survey found voters are 55 percent less likely to vote for a candidate at the top of the ticket who opposes taking action on climate and moderate Republicans are 35 percentage points less likely to vote for a presidential candidate opposing action. In addition, climate is an issue that is key to winning over and motivating younger voters, Latinos, and suburban women (including Republican-leaning independents). Climate, clean energy, and conservation are all issues that will help candidates assemble the coalitions they need to win.
Here’s a look at some of the ads aired from October 1-7.
The Biden campaign is running “Our Chance,” which includes climate change as a top priority under a Biden administration. Biden is also airing “Made in America,” which mentions clean energy and combating climate change.
Three weeks out from Election Day, Senate candidates across the battleground continue to run a number of ads on clean energy, climate, and environmental/conservation issues:
- ALASKA: Al Gross (I) is running “Undercover Video,” which attacks Dan Sullivan for his support of Pebble Mine.
- COLORADO: John Hickenlooper is running “Which Cory,” which attacks Cory Gardner for rolling back environmental protections, and “The CORE Act” on protecting public lands from drilling.
- MICHIGAN: Gary Peters is running “Oil Pipelines,” which touts his effort to protect the Great Lakes.
- MINNESOTA: Tina Smith is running “Opportunities,” which talks about her bipartisan work creating internships in the clean energy sector.
- MONTANA: Steve Bullock is up with “Caroline / Alex / Cam,” which features his children talking about hiking, public lands, hunting, and fishing.
- NEW MEXICO: Ben Ray Luján is still up with “Working the Land”, which talks about protecting clean water.
Third-party groups are also running a number of spots in key Senate races, including:
- ALASKA: The 314 Action Fund is running “Devastating,” which attacks Dan Sullivan for supporting Pebble Mine. The Lincoln Project is also up with an ad, “Pebble Mine,” attacking Sullivan for supporting the project. Independent Alaska remains up with “Independent Fishermen” attacking Sullivan for his support of Pebble Mine and praising Al Gross as a “fisherman, doctor, advocate.”
- IOWA: LCV Victory Fund remains up with “IA Map,” which notes Joni Ernst’s support for tax breaks for fossil fuels and the donations she received from oil and gas companies.
- MICHIGAN: “Paying Off,” from Senate Majority PAC, attacks John James for corporate donations from fossil fuel companies.
- SOUTH CAROLINA: NRDC Action Votes and Lindsey Must GO PAC are up with “Offshore Drilling,” which hits Lindsey Graham for changing his position on offshore drilling and taking donations from fossil fuel companies.
In the fight to preserve the pro-climate majority in the House, climate and conservation also feature prominently in a number of key races:
- CALIFORNIA-21: NRDC Action Votes is up with “There’s a Dangerous Pesticide,” a Spanish language ad that attacks David Valadao for failing to stand up to the Trump administration for its decision on chlorpyrifos.
- CALIFORNIA-24: Salud Carbajal is running “Strawberry Fields to Congress,” which is a biographical ad that mentions his support for public lands protections.
- COLORADO-06: Jason Crow is running “Former Army Ranger Climate Change,” which touts his environmental record and leadership combating climate change.
- ILLINOIS-06: Sean Casten is running “Grade” and “Scientist;” the first ad attacks Jeanne Ives for opposing efforts to combat climate change, and the second touts his private-sector record on the environment and climate change.
- INDIANA-5: The DCCC is up with “She Tried to Hide It,” which attacks Victoria Spartz for authoring legislation that would allow development on local wetlands.
- MICHIGAN-08: LCV Victory Fund and House Majority PAC remain up with “Warning Signs,” which attacks Paul Junge for his connections to PFAS companies.
- MONTANA-AL: Kathleen Williams and the DCCC are also running “Just Don’t Fit,” which attacks her opponent for failing to protect public lands.
- NEW MEXICO-02: LCV Victory Fund is still running “Land of Enchantment,” which attacks Yvette Herrell for failing to protect public lands.
- SOUTH CAROLINA-01: House Majority PAC remains up with “Just Don’t Belong,” which attacks Nancy Mace for supporting offshore drilling. Also on the topic of offshore drilling, LCV Victory Fund is up with “Way of Life.” Environmental Defense Action Fund is running a new ad, “The Cost of a Seat” which attacks Mace for taking money from corporate polluters.
- VIRGINIA-07: LCV Victory Fund remains up with “We Know” in Richmond, which attacks Nick Freitas for his donations from corporate polluters and failing to protect drinking water.