Q: Do you think it's been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the Earth is warming because of man-made pollution?
Democrats (39 votes)
Now April 2006 Yes 95 percent 98 percent No 5 percent 2 percent
"And there is plenty of proof--in changing weather patterns--to prove it."
"Only the loonies think otherwise."
"Yes, it's time to move beyond this debate and do something about it!"
"Science, around the world, is in agreement."
"It's becoming a hot issue for the Republicans!"
"I sweat when I breathe, it's so damn hot these days."
"When Columbus returned to Spain from the New World in 1493, was he still asked if the world was flat?"
"All of the presidential candidates have made it clear that passing a cap-and-trade bill to curb global warming will be a top priority. And the potential for such a bill to help jump-start the economy by investing in innovative energy technologies virtually assures that this issue will rocket to the top of the congressional agenda. Given the international talks scheduled for December 2009, Congress and any new administration will have to make global-warming legislation an early priority."
"The question is unfairly weighted. It has been proven that humans are at least a contributing cause. It has not been proven that we are the only cause. However, being a part of the problem should be sufficient to demand action."
"Only an ostrich with its head in the sand would deny man-made global warming."
"[Evidence is conflicting on whether] warming is man-made, but there shouldn't be any doubt that a man-made solution is needed. The trend won't reverse on its own."
"This global-warming debate is a farce."
Republicans (39 votes)
Now April 2006 Yes 26 percent 23 percent No 74 percent 77 percent
"Put it this way: Is there anyone who reasonably believes that the emissions caused by man have no effect on the environment? It doesn't take a degree in science to accept the concept that the actions of billions of people driving millions of cars do indeed impact the world around us."
"Reasonable people have doubts. For every Al Gore, there is an intelligent scientist armed with legitimate facts to debunk him."
"But this is an opportunity for us to export U.S. innovation to improve global environmental responsibility and not just regulate ourselves."
"In the '70s, the 'consensus of scientists' was that we were beginning global cooling. Now it is global warming. Excuse me if I am skeptical of this newest form of secular religion. Perhaps we should pause and take a breath before we drink the new Kool-Aid!"
"The Earth is warming, but we don't know whether it's caused entirely by humans or whether human actions can change it."
"It is proven that it is a partial cause, but not the primary cause."
"No, not man-made pollution alone."
"Human contribution is minimal, but pollution should be reduced for a cleaner environment."
"If there's one thing poll after poll indicates, it's that the science is not settled on this issue."
"What has been proven is that a well-targeted pop-culture campaign can trump even the best of science. The bad news is, a very few will get very rich, and the rest of us will foot the bill with mythical creations like cap and trade. The impact of such programs on the environment: Zero. The cost to the American public: Huge. The grin on Al Gore's very wealthy face: Priceless!"
"It's been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Democrats are OK with the idea of surrendering our spot atop the world economy."
Q: What will be the most urgent priority facing the next president and Congress in January?
Democrats (39 votes)
Global warming 31 percent Health care 0 percent Iraq 5 percent U.S. economy 44 percent All of the above (volunteered) 13 percent Economy and Iraq (volunteered) 3 percent Global warming and health care (volunteered) 3 percent Economy and health care (volunteered) 3 percent
"The best thing the new Democratic president could do for the economy would be to end the Iraq war."
"Millions of Americans are struggling to put food on the table and gas in the tank. The next president will need to act swiftly to reverse the Bush administration's policies that have favored the bottom lines of corporate America and the wealthy."
"Whenever the economy is legitimately on the agenda, it trumps all other issues. And it is certainly a legitimate issue for the foreseeable future."
"Gas prices are just the beginning of the economic pain for the middle class."
"Unless there is a dramatic turnaround, the economy will control the debate during the campaign and after January."
"Our country is speeding toward a cliff on everything: foreign policy, environment, domestic policy. We need to pivot and change direction on virtually every front."
"No incoming president in history has had to face so many tough issues."
"America's moral standing in the world, plus all of the above. Issues under this president are being held back like water behind Grand Coulee Dam. And on January 20th we are going to breach the dam."
Republicans (39 votes)
Global warming 0 percent Health care 13 percent Iraq 10 percent U.S. economy 59 percent Energy (volunteered) 15 percent Immigration and gasoline prices (volunteered) 3 percent
"Reforming American health care in a way that ensures access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans is our greatest challenge."
"The first year of the new administration will be judged by and large by how successful the new president is at implementing his new Iraq policy. Failure could cripple the administration and any other legislative agenda that would follow."
"We are headed toward victory in Iraq; now we need to get our economy moving again."
"The economy has weakened, and people are angry due to high gas prices, impending tax increases, rising health care costs, the housing collapse--and government inaction on these issues."
"Energy costs and a more litigious, regulatory, and tax-heavy business climate are on the way. Let's hope the Democrats aren't successful at driving us into position as a second-rate nation."
"Unless the cartels increase supply, energy will be the No. 1 issue."
"Energy availability, cost, and content profoundly impact our foreign policy, national security, economic prospects domestically, and the environment."
National Journal Insiders
Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher Dodd, Edward Kennedy, Frank Lautenberg, Barbara Mikulski, Mark Pryor, Ken Salazar, Jon Tester; Reps. Tom Allen, Robert Andrews, Michael Arcuri, Tammy Baldwin, Melissa Bean, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Marion Berry, Rick Boucher, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, Chris Carney, James Clyburn, Jim Cooper, Joseph Crowley, Elijah Cummings, Artur Davis, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Eliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Alcee Hastings, Mike Honda, Jay Inslee, Steve Israel, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Nita Lowey, Carolyn Maloney, Ed Markey, Jim McDermott, Jim McGovern, Kendrick Meek, Jim Moran, David Price, Silvestre Reyes, Jan Schakowsky, Jose Serrano, Adam Smith, John Spratt, Pete Stark, John Tanner, Ellen Tauscher, Bennie Thompson, Chris Van Hollen, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, and Peter Welch.
GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Lamar Alexander, Jim Bunning, John Cornyn, Jim DeMint, Lindsey Graham, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Johnny Isakson, Richard Lugar, Mel Martinez, Lisa Murkowski, Olympia Snowe, John Sununu, John Thune, David Vitter; Reps. Brian Bilbray, Marsha Blackburn, John Boehner, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Chris Cannon, Eric Cantor, Michael Castle, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Tom Davis, John Doolittle, David Dreier, Phil English, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Pete Hoekstra, Bob Inglis, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Mark Kirk, John Kline, Ray LaHood, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Jim McCrery, Patrick McHenry, John Mica, Candice Miller, Marilyn Musgrave, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Mike Pence, Tom Price, Deborah Pryce, Adam Putnam, Dave Reichert, Tom Reynolds, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Mike Rogers of Michigan, Paul Ryan, Pete Sessions, John Shadegg, Christopher Shays, Adrian Smith, Mark Souder, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, Zach Wamp, and Joe Wilson.
This article appears in the June 7, 2008, edition of National Journal.