"Democrats Use Climate Change as Wedge Issue on Republicans"

"When President Obama stood before students in Southern California a week ago ridiculing those who deny climate science, he wasn't just road testing a new political strategy to a friendly audience. He was trying to drive a wedge between younger voters and the Republican Party.

Democrats are convinced that climate change is the new same-sex marriage, an issue that is moving irreversibly in their favor, especially among young people, women and independents, the voters who hold the keys to the White House in 2016.

Wedge issues are those in which one side believes strongly that it has the moral high ground. Just as Republicans held the upper hand on same-sex marriage in 2004, Democrats now see climate change as a way to drive their base voters to the polls while branding Republicans as antiscience and beholden to special interests.

It's not just their own polling telling Democrats that. Stanford political scientist Jon Krosnick found in a new survey that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe climate change is happening and that humans are to blame."

Carolyn Lochhead reports for the San Francisco Chronicle June 21, 2014.

Monday, June 23, 2014