Jeff McDermott quoted in POLITICO on A Changing Climate Campaign

October 26, 2018

For years, Democratic candidates have struggled to make climate change resonate with voters in their campaigns, so they’ve taken a muted approach that has left some environmentalists frustrated. But that’s starting to change this cycle, with Senate, House and gubernatorial candidates across the country pointing to the economic pain caused by the devastation from powerful hurricanes and wildfires — as well as the benefits from the fast-growing green sector.

As [POLITICO] Pro’s Zack Colman reports, voters will hear Democrats press that dollars-and-cents message. “Climate change as a scientific conversation, temperature — it’s hard to get your arms around,” said Steve Schale, a Democratic political strategist in Florida. “What Democrats have done very well in this cycle is draw a direct line between climate change and what people are experiencing in their communities.”

For example: Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Andrew Gillum, has promised to “lean into the challenge of the green economy,” while New Mexico Democratic gubernatorial nominee Michelle Lujan Grisham has championed renewable energy, even scaling a wind turbine in a campaign ad.

Democrats in most places may also have the numbers on their side, with employment in renewable energy sources like wind and solar totaling nearly seven times the number of people who work in the coal industry, Zack writes. That’s the message Republican donor Jeffrey McDermott, the managing director of Greentech Capital Advisors, is pressing. He didn’t vote for President Donald Trump, but says he thinks his party is missing an opportunity by focusing on fossil fuels. “Disconnecting from change doesn’t recapture the past, it loses the future,” McDermott said.

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