On Global Warming, MoveOn Voters Pick Edwards

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the New York Times

On Global Warming, MoveOn Voters Pick Edwards

by
Michael Falcone

In a recent virtual town hall meeting on climate change with the Democratic presidential candidates sponsored by MoveOn.org, former Senator John Edwards renewed his call to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by 80 percent by 2050 and said that his plan for getting there was the "most aggressive" of any of his opponents.

His stance evidently struck a chord with participants in a straw poll on the liberal advocacy group's Web site which asked, "Which candidate's position on dealing with the climate crisis do you prefer?"

Mr. Edwards won the poll, getting about 33 percent of the vote. Representative Dennis Kucinich was the runner-up with about 15 percent support. He barely edged out Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama who rounded out the top four. According to Trevor FitzGibbon, a spokesman for MoveOn, 95,284 people voted online.

MoveOn members gathered at 1,300 house parties across the country last weekend to watch the candidates answer questions on the environment in conjunction with a series of Live Earth concerts organized by Al Gore. The group said it plans to run newspaper ads in Iowa and New Hampshire next week announcing the results.

Last weekend Mr. Edwards also released a new podcast on global warming in which he focused on his plan to make coal-fired power plans cleaner.

Eli Pariser, the executive director of MoveOn, said in a statement that the interest the group has seen among its members on issues like global warming "emphasizes how important it will be for our next president to make solving the climate crisis a top priority in 2008."

MoveOn held a similar vote after its first virtual town hall on the Iraq war in April. In the voting, Senator Barack Obama came out on top, followed by Mr. Edwards. The group plans to ask the candidates about their views on health care in the fall.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Contact: Trevor FitzGibbon, Alex Howe
202.822.5200

Edwards Wins Straw Poll on Climate Change

Print Ads to Run in NH and IA Next Week

Largest MoveOn Event Since 2004; Over 100,000 People Joined at 1,300 House Parties and Online to Watch Virtual Town Hall

Former Senator John Edwards won MoveOn.org Political Action's poll on the climate crisis which asked, "Which candidate's position on dealing with the climate crisis do you prefer?" Of the field of eight Democratic hopefuls, Edwards received 33% of the total votes cast—more than twice the support of the next two candidates, Rep. Kucinich and Senator Clinton, who each garnered 15.7%.

MoveOn member vote results:

Edwards 33.10%
Kucinich 15.73%
Clinton 15.71%
Obama 15.03%
Richardson 12.60%
Biden 3.06%
Dodd 3.01%
Gravel 1.78%

MoveOn will run print ads in newspapers in early primary states Iowa and New Hampshire next week, announcing the results of the straw poll on the climate crisis. Fundraising for the ads begins today.

"The enormous response we got from our members on this issue emphasizes how important it will be for our next president to make solving the climate crisis a top priority in 2008," said Eli Pariser, Executive Director of MoveOn.org Political Action.

"MoveOn members want leaders who will take on the oil and coal industry and create a clean energy economy. That's probably why Sen. Edwards' support of cap and auction systems — which force polluters to pay citizens—and his call for more green collar jobs received such strong backing," added Ilyse Hogue, Campaign Director of MoveOn.org Political Action.

The membership vote began immediately after the organization's Saturday night Virtual Town Hall and concluded on Tuesday, at midnight PST. The Virtual Town Hall, at which, the candidates answered members' questions about climate change and global warming, coincided with the Live Earth concerts around the world.

MoveOn members who watched the Town Hall at one of the parties voted differently from those who did not.

Votes by MoveOn members who attended house parties:

Edwards 25.53%
Richardson 20.19%
Kucinich 17.55%
Clinton 13.80%
Obama 10.18%
Biden 6.15%
Dodd 3.63%
Gravel 2.96%

Results from the first Virtual Town Hall on Iraq:

Obama 27.87%
Edwards 24.84
Kucinich 17.18
Richardson 12.26
Clinton 10.70
Biden 6.19
Dodd 1.05

A third and final Town Hall will take place in the fall and will focus on affordable health care for all Americans.

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