The stage is set for climate change to feature prominently in the upcoming presidential election. The science has never been clearer. The public is more concerned than they’ve been in over a decade. Young people are leading a new wave of activism that is gathering pace, including in the U.S.  And a newly emboldened progressive wing of the Democratic party is calling for a Green New Deal of far-reaching climate, industrial, social welfare and employment policies.

 

Against this backdrop, the expectations and opportunities for climate leadership are greater than ever before. Among the growing pool of Democratic candidates, all accept the science and believe climate change is a threat that demands a response. However, many voters now expect candidates to demonstrate a much higher level of commitment to ambitious and urgent action on climate.

 

So how do we measure climate leadership? It’s easy to do quick tests on pledges and positions. But how do the candidates really stack up against one another? This is the question Climate Advisers’ Democratic Candidates Climate Race seeks to answer by looking at four key criteria:

 

 

Based on these criteria, here are the standings, as of 4 June 2019:

 

Candidate

 Overall

Mandate Building

Proposed Policy

Past Policy

Fossil Fuel Pledge

Jay Inslee

1

2

T1

T6

Y

Bernie Sanders

2

1

8

5

Y

Kirsten Gillibrand

T3

T7

7

2

Y

Beto O’Rourke

T3

T3

T1

14

Y

Marianne Williamson

5

T3

6

T18

Y

Kamala Harris

6

T3

18

1

Y

Mike Gravel

7

19

T1

17

Y

Michael Bennet

8

16

T1

11

N

Joe Biden

T9

T7

T1

T18

N

John Delaney

T9

T7

8

T9

N

Amy Klobuchar

11

T7

20

4

Y

Elizabeth Warren

T12

T7

12

8

Y

Pete Buttigieg

T12

5

12

T18

Y

Cory Booker

14

17

13

3

Y

Seth Moulton

T15

20

16

T6

Y

Tulsi Gabbard

T15

18

17

T9

Y

Eric Swalwell

17

23

24

T12

Y

Julian Castro

18

T7

15

T18

Y

Wayne Messam

T19

T7

21

T18

Y

Andrew Yang

T19

24

10

T18

Y

Bill de Blasio

21

T7

16

T15

N

Tim Ryan

22

22

23

T12

N

Steve Bullock

23

T7

14

T15

N

John Hickenlooper

24

20

19

T18

N

 

 

Observations 

 

The race is on

As the primary continues to unfold, there’s time for candidates to improve their position in the race. With that in mind, the race is split into a series of legs that will finish before key milestones on the journey to the convention, such as the first televised debate, the Iowa Caucus and Super Tuesday. If a candidate finishes poorly, she or he has the chance to improve in the next leg.

 

Delve deeper

Standings

Methodology

Data

 

Past Standings 

Initial Standings – 17 May 2019

 

Please direct inquiries to Ben Simonds, Director of Communications, simonds@climateadvisers.com