Memo: Climate Jobs Scorecards

By Mijin Cha, Data for Progress Senior Fellow

Executive Summary

The climate crisis cannot be ignored any longer. Climate change is happening now and immediate, bold action must be taken to stave off the worst impacts. Greenhouse gas emissions and other key pollutants must be drastically reduced in a short time frame. At the same time, we must act to protect workers and communities negatively impacted by the transition away from fossil fuels. Failing to do so will increase economic inequality and hardship for the very communities and workers that have sacrificed life and livelihood to provide the energy that built our economy.

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Memo: Bargaining the Green New Deal

By Jared Odessky, Data for Progress Legal Fellow

Executive Summary


News coverage of the Green New Deal portrays organized labor as a major obstacle to its enactment. But a new report from Data for Progress paints a different picture. Union members overwhelmingly favored the proposed reforms, with 62 percent in support and 22 percent against. Democratic voters prioritize turning out voters who stayed home in 2016 over persuading Trump voters.

In step with the rank-and-file, some union leaders have already backed the ambitious plan. In a resolution adopted by its executive board, the Service Employees International Union called the Green New Deal “an unprecedented opportunity to unite the fights for environmental, racial, and economic justice.” Los Angeles County Federation of Labor secretary-treasurer Rusty Hicks said the “framework is vital to fighting both” inequality and climate change. Association of Flight Attendants president Sara Nelson explained that it is “not the solutions to climate change that kill jobs,” but climate change itself.

Still, the current political climate in Washington means that passage of the Green New Deal is unlikely unless Democrats win back the presidency and the Senate, even as union support for the measure continues to grow. But labor leaders have a more immediate way to translate worker power into environmental victories: bargaining green union contracts.

Memo: Messaging the Green New Deal

By the Pollux Group on Behalf of Data for Progress

Data For Progress sought to ascertain general perceptions of the Green New Deal among persuadable voter profiles, as well as determine which messages resonate most with particular groups of voter

Topline Findings

•The Green New Deal already has support from base Democrats, but there are pathways to expand its base of support among independent and persuadable voters.

•Base Dems are already on board: they understand the impending climate catastrophe and favor bold, structural solutions to solve it.

•Independents and swing voters can be swayed by focusing on local impacts and tangible benefits, such as clean air and clean water, as well as messaging about leaving a better world to the next generation.

•Economic benefits, especially job creation, were seen as especially strong selling points to independent and swing voters.

Memo: The Green New Deal is Popular

We find most voters support the individual policies that comprise the Green New Deal. Clean air and clean water, sustainable agriculture and lead removal are especially popular, and could be used to win over swing voters in geographies where progressives often struggle.

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Memo: The Green New Deal Is Popular (350 Action)

350 Action and Data for Progress

Key findings:

  • The Green New Deal remains broadly popular, with 59 percent of US voters supporting the policy and only 28 percent opposed.

  • While support for green energy policies is strongest among Millennials, age is not as strong a divider of opinion as one might suspect.

  • Party ID is the central cleavage on green policy, with Democrats supporting climate action at much higher levels than Republicans, and Independents leaning closer to Democrats than Republicans on all three issues.

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Memo: Polling The Green New Deal Components

By Jason Ganz (@jasnonaz) and Sean McElwee (@SeanMcElwee)

To test the viability of a Green New Deal after it faces conservative opposition, we offered respondents counter-arguments, partisan framing and explicit pay-fors of different amounts included in the question. By randomly varying the cost of the pay-for between participants, we are able to determine how strongly support for policies varies at different cost levels.

Our findings should be heartening for progressives: even with counter-arguments, partisan framing and expensive revenue pay-fors, most parts of the Green New Deal, even some of its most ambitious elements, have net support among likely voters.

  • Out of the eleven policies surveyed, eight have net positive support with an unstated pay-for, five have net support with a low pay-for and four with a high pay-for.

  • The most popular policies are improving drinking water infrastructure (36 percent net support), reforesting land (25 percent net support), job training and insurance for displaced workers (18 percent net support) and a green jobs guarantee (9 percent net support).

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Memo: Polling The Green New Deal

By John Ray (@johnlray)

Key Finding: Even with explicit tax increases and an end to all fossil fuel use, the Green New Deal is popular. Support for the Green New Deal is driven by Millennials, students, and non-whites. As the Green New Deal has entered the political conversation, support for it has become more clearly polarized along partisan lines, even as it remains popular among Independents.

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Memo: Green New Deal and Democratic Primaries

By Sean McElwee (@SeanMcElwee), co-founder of Data for Progress and Julian Brave NoiseCat (@jnoisecat) Director of Green New Deal Strategy


  • Likely Democratic primary voters prefer candidates who support a Green New Deal. Nearly half (46 percent) of likely Democratic primary voters would disapprove if their incumbent House representative opposed a Green New Deal while only 26 percent would approve (28 percent did not express an opinion).

  • In all districts polled, likely Democratic primary voters said they would disapprove if the incumbent did not support Green New Deal. In three districts (MA-06, MA-08 and NY-03, the preference was a majority, not plurality).