Vote Climate U.S. PAC works to elect candidates to get off fossil fuels and put a fee on carbon to slow climate change.

Voter’s Guide to Change Climate Politics in America

By Karyn Strickler

Climate change is no longer an issue that our grandchildren will face — rather its weather extremes are in your face almost daily — and something that American voters must confront in the voting booth in 2018.

Hurricane Michael made landfall as a category 4, packing maximum, sustained winds of 155 mph, flattening much of the town of Mexico Beach, Florida. This summer saw an unprecedented, planet-wide heat wave, taking lives directly and igniting wildfires. One in California grew at a rate of 10,000 football fields per hour. Another in Colorado produced a 300-foot eruption of flames that devoured an entire subdivision in a “fire tsunami” — all directly connected to climate change in their increasing frequency and intensity.

Vote Climate U.S. PAC has released our national, climate change voter’s guide. We have given every incumbent and challenger for a seat in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate a — climate calculation — a score for voters to take to the polls in November. Our climate calculations, ranging from climate hero to climate zero and everything in between, will help American voters make climate change a top priority issue.

This voter’s guide is much more than a scorecard of incumbent votes. Never before has a national, climate change voter’s guide assessed both incumbents and challengers. Nor has there ever been a voter’s guide that goes beyond votes to assess leadership and putting a fee on carbon. When voters make climate change an issue that can win or lose elections, we will see dramatic political action, quickly.

We did an analysis of the results of researching nearly 1,000 candidates, and compiled a national list of climate heroes, climate zeroes and a best-to-worst list. More significantly, the analysis gives fascinating perspective on issues like climate change and party, region and in swing districts.

Vote Climate U.S. PAC is a nonpartisan organization, so while we encourage bi-partisan cooperation on the issue, high-scoring Republicans are rare. Two great exceptions are Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1), who co-sponsored the Market Choice Act (H.R. 6463) that would implement a carbon tax and put the proceeds towards improving infrastructure.

Those exceptions aside, there is a colossal partisan divide ranging from an overall average score for Democrats in the U.S. Senate of 85.3 versus a .63 for Republicans. The overall average scores for Democrats in the U.S. House is 89.6 versus 7.4 for Republicans. Given the enormous partisan divide, Democrats need 23 seats for control of U.S. House and 2 seats, net for control of the U.S. Senate. Cook Political Report says that there are up to 70 total seats in-play in the U.S. House. In the U.S. Senate 13 total seats are potentially up-for-grabs.

We found some challengers in the U.S. Senate with high scores, running against incumbents with low scores in pivotal swing states. These are the seats that could increase our climate-action voting bloc and are therefore the most critical races. There is the Texas U.S. Senate race, which is a toss-up Republican state, where challenger, Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D) has a climate calculation of 96.25 versus climate zero, incumbent Ted Cruz (R). Consider challenger Jacky Rosen (D) in the toss-up Republican state of Nevada, whose climate calculation is a 92.5 against incumbent Dean Heller (R), who scored a 3.13. These are two of our 2018 priority U.S. Senate races.

We also have high scoring incumbents running against low scoring challengers. These are the places where we need to re-elect climate-action candidates. You will find incumbent Bill Nelson (FL) in a toss-up Democratic race. He is a climate hero, scoring 100 against his challenger who scored a 7.5. This is also a priority U.S. Senate race for Vote Climate U.S. PAC.

In the U.S. House, Mike Levine (D-CA49) who is vying for an open seat scored a 100, making him a climate hero, versus his Republican challenger who scored a 71.25. Angie Craig (D-MN2), challenger is running in a lean Democratic district. She scored a 100 in her climate calculation versus her incumbent opponent who is a climate zero. The challenger in Kansas Sharice Davids (D-KS3) scored a 92.5 against her climate zero opponent. Dean Phillips (D-MN3) is a climate hero challenger with a score of 100 against his opponent who scored a 9.38. These are a few of our Vote Climate U.S. House, priority candidates.

These kinds of choices prevail nationwide in states and districts across the country. Voters can take our voter’s guide to the polls and see exactly where they can make the most difference with their vote in their own states and districts. By their educated votes this year, citizens can dramatically shift the national political paradigm toward essential climate action.

Vote Climate U.S. PAC’s voter’s guide is simple for each and every American voter to use to vote climate. Just go to our voter’s guide page on our website. Click your state on the map or enter your zip code. If you don’t know your congressional district, click this link on our page under FAQ to get it. Find your district and vote for the U.S. Representative or Senator with the highest score or climate calculation.

Karyn Strickler is the founder and president of Vote Climate U.S. PAC.



Karyn Strickler is president of Vote Climate U.S. PAC working to elect candidates to get off fossil fuels and put a fee on carbon to slow climate change.

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Karyn Strickler

Karyn Strickler is president of Vote Climate U.S. PAC working to elect candidates to get off fossil fuels and put a fee on carbon to slow climate change.