Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My take on the GOP Presidential Candidates: Climate Change & the Youth Vote

I author HeadCount's Sustainability & Climate Change e-newsletter. Here's my latest issue "The GOP, Sustainability And Climate Change." It was sent to readers' inboxes and was published on the HeadCount blog on January 6.

Primary season is heating up, starting with the Iowa Caucus earlier this week. It was a squeaker, that brought new possible frontrunners into the news cycle and ended some Presidential dreams.

Coming into Iowa, candidates stumped on a range of issues, including sustainability and climate change. Here's where the 2012 hopefuls stand:

Who says your vote doesn't count? In the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney claimed victory by a margin of just eight votes. Wonder where this guy stands on climate change and sustainability issues? In October, Rick Perry released a video accusing Romney of adopting Obama-style policies on carbon emissions. While that's totally true, Perry omitted the fact that Romney later withdrew his support, citing economic concerns. Romney has criticized Obama over the government’s failed investment in the solar energy company Solyndra. But during his last presidential campaign he said he supported the $4 billion the US invested in green energy, and said he would increase it five-fold to about $20 billion a year. Additionally, as Governor of Massachusetts he launched the ($15 million) MA Green Energy Fund. A former Republican Capitol Hill energy aide has said of Romney's position on environmental issues: “It’s like a box of chocolates, you don’t know what you’re going to get. Frankly, there’s a bunch of people who are tired of getting a box of chocolates."

To read the rest click here - you'll be taken to the post on the HeadCount blog.

I also recently published a piece "Ron Paul & the New Hampshire Youth Vote" on, featuring friends from HeadCount! Here it is:

Let’s recap the percentage of votes received by the top three finishers in the 2012 New Hampshire Republican primary election: Mitt Romney received 39.4% of the votes cast, Ron Paul 22.8% and Jon Huntsman 16.8%. I have heard that Ron Paul has a lot of support from young voters, but what does that look like? Let’s use New Hampshire as an example.

According to a report issued by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE), approximately 15% of eligible New Hampshire voters under the age of thirty participated in the primary this year. That’s approximately 29,000 voters. To put that in some sort of context, approximately 26,000 young people voted for Barack Obama in the state’s 2008 primary.

Ron Paul definitely did well by the New Hampshire youth vote. Young voters cast their votes for Ron Paul by a margin of 22 percentage points. This is more than double the number of youth votes that the candidate received in the 2008 New Hampshire primary. Interestingly, CIRCLE Director Peter Levine said “Dr. Paul’s 47% support from 18- to 29-year olds was the strongest level of support for any candidate by any age group.”

I like statistics, but what did this really look like? HeadCount, a nonprofit organization whose thousands of volunteers register fans to vote at concerts year-round, sent a small team of volunteers to New Hampshire to look into this for us. In this video you can watch a few insightful conversations that they had with Ron Paul supporters.

To read the rest of my post click here - you'll be taken to the post on

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