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Op/ed: Survey Shows Youth Climate Activists Lining Up Behind Biden

Left-Leaning Group Follows Cues of Preferred Candidates to Support Presumptive Nominee, Researcher Finds

By Dana R. Fisher

Young people at a climate protest

Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images

Demonstrators from several environmental groups, including Extinction Rebellion and Sunrise Movement, demand broad action at a youth-led climate strike last December in New York City.

“I’m with Joe” may not trip easily off their tongues, but youth climate activists will support presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden rather than vote to reelect President Donald Trump or sit out the election altogether, new survey results from sociology Professor Dana R. Fisher show.

Fisher specializes in taking the temperature of protest movements by surveying local organizers of demonstrations and marches as well as the people who show up, and wrote about her recent findings in Politico magazine.

It was just five months ago that Sunrise Movement—the progressive climate group behind the Green New Dealgave an F rating to Joe Biden’s climate plan, saying it lacked ambition and has “lots of room for improvement!” As with much of the progressive left, climate activists face a much more acute question now that Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. “The Sunrise Movement is really struggling to live with Joe Biden,” read a mid-April headline in VICE.

Is the youth climate movement, which includes Sunrise and other groups that have coordinated protests and strikes around the country, going to get behind the nominee? Or will its members be part of the “Never Biden” contingent in November? Research shows that young people are less likely to vote, though Biden could really use their support to win the election.

Read the rest in Politico.

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