On Monday night, Democrats in the Senate pulled an all-nighter talking about climate change. Thirty Senate Democrats, who are part of a new “Senate Climate Caucus” spoke for 15 hours about the perils of climate change.
The all-nighter, as well as the new climate caucus, are part of a broader effort to raise the profile of the climate change issue—particularly in the 2014 midterm elections.
Recently, California hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer pledged to spend up to $100 million in November on candidates who will make climate change a priority. This huge infusion of money into the 2014 elections has helped give rise to a growing group of candidates that environmental activists are referring to as “climate candidates”—politicians who are making the climate change issue a central part of their campaigns.
Despite the massive infusion of money and the efforts to raise the profile of the issue, the reality is that no legislation can pass without Republican support—something that is woefully lacking on the climate change issue. Additionally, advocates have yet to convince moderate Democrats of the need to tackle the issue. Indeed, analysts were quick to note that none of the four most vulnerable Democratic incumbent senators in the midterms—Mark Begich (D-AK), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) or Mark Pryor (D-AR)—participated in the all-night climate push.