Episode 184: Ahead Of New Hampshire Primary, Identity Politics And Climate Change In 2020 Election

After delays in the Iowa caucus results, we turn our attention to the New Hampshire primary on February 11. This week on NEXT, what to expect from the Granite State in the 2020 presidential election. And a political scientist shares how identity politics has impacted the race so far. Plus, a look at how candidates are addressing climate change — a top issue for New Hampshire voters.

Moving On From The Iowa Debacle To New Hampshire

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally Saturday where Vampire Weekend also performed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Henry Epp / Vermont Public Radio)

The Iowa Caucuses were a debacle on Monday – from an app that didn’t do its job to delayed results that were still trickling in late into the week. The Democratic race was tight, with former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at the top. They were followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, former Vice President Joe Biden and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. 

The New England News Collaborative had two reporters in Iowa. Anthony Brooks, senior political reporter for WBUR, said he interviewed many voters who wrestled with this question –one that will likely carry into New Hampshire: do I vote with my heart, or for the person I think can beat Trump? 

Henry Epp, a reporter and host at Vermont Public Radio, said he found that many Sanders voters are willing to put their support behind any Democratic nominee – and that the senator’s ground game is ready for New Hampshire.

Identity Politics In 2020: From ‘Heartland’ Values To Dwindling Diversity In The Presidential Field

Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean, Associate Professor of Political Science at Quinnipiac University. (Crandall “CJ” Yopp)

Khalilah Brown-Dean, a political science professor at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, talked to NEXT about the ways identity politics are playing out in the 2020 presidential campaign. “The Democratic Party has positioned itself as one of inclusion, and yet the candidates of color … struggled to raise enough money to be viewed as a credible candidate,” Brown-Dean said. Brown-Dean is the author of the book “Identity Politics in the United States,” which came out last fall.

All Dems Have Climate Change Proposals. Here’s How They Differ.

(Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio)

A recent poll from WBUR found New Hampshire primary voters want the Democratic presidential candidates to talk policy. The top issue on voters’ minds was healthcare, including drug pricing and Medicare. Up second: the environment and climate change.

Some voters are urging candidates to acknowledge the threat of climate change and propose ways to fix it.

“It’s such a gradual thing,” said Cynthia Harriman from Portsmouth, N.H. “That’s why we need even more attention on it.” 

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidates all have plans to tackle climate change. New Hampshire Public Radio put together this explainer, showing each candidate’s climate proposals. 

 Also On This Week’s Show:

About NEXT:

NEXT is produced at Connecticut Public Radio
Host/Producer: Morgan Springer
Executive Editor: Vanessa de la Torre

Senior Director: Catie Talarski
Contributors to this episode: Anthony Brooks, Henry Epp, Bob Oakes, Wilder Fleming, Casey McDermott, Daniela Allee, Annie Ropeik and Todd Bookman.
Music: Todd Merrell, “New England” by Goodnight Blue Moon, On My Way To You” by Noelle Micarelli, “The Evil One” by Kerrin Connolly and “Wreck of the Hesperus” by Muddy Ruckus.

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