Edwards Wins MoveOn.org's 'Global Warming' Poll

By Nathan Burchfiel | July 7, 2008 | 8:32 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Former Sen. John Edwards is the Democratic presidential hopeful best suited to combat global climate change, according to liberal activists voting in a recent poll sponsored by MoveOn.org.

Nearly one third of MoveOn members voted for Edwards in a poll conducted following a "virtual town hall" during which members used the Internet to question the 2008 Democratic presidential hopefuls about their global warming policies.

The event was one in a series of Internet-based candidate forums sponsored by the liberal activist group. As Cybercast News Service previously reported, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois won the first poll, which was conducted after a forum on the Iraq war. Edwards placed second in that poll.

On global warming, Edwards proposed a carbon cap system with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. He proposed auctioning off all emissions rights in opposition to more moderate "cap and trade" plans that give credits to emitters that can then be traded.

"The proceeds of the auction should go to changing and transforming the way we produce and use energy in America," Edwards said. He mentioned wind, solar, and cellulose-based biofuels.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, who proposed a government-wide "Works Green Administration" that would "take every department of the federal government and integrate it into green philosophy," came in second in the MoveOn poll with 15.73 percent of the vote.

Kucinich barely edged out Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, who came in third with 15.71 percent. Clinton and the fourth place candidate, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, have both supported the cap and trade proposal currently before the Senate.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska also participated in the debate, but none earned more than 15 percent of the MoveOn members' vote.

MoveOn announced the winners in a fundraising e-mail to supporters, encouraging them to donate to "make clear that when candidates take on difficult issues like the climate crisis, it's a win for them."

"Unless the next president offers real leadership, we'll see the effects of heating our planet worsen in the next 10 years," the group wrote, predicting "raging heat waves, epidemics, catastrophic storms, and species extinction."

Edwards said during the town hall that one of his goals "is not only to address this crisis of climate change, but also to strengthen the American economy, and not just at the top, which is what we've seen under Bush. Instead we want to strengthen the economy and strengthen the ability of Americans to earn a decent living wage from the bottom up."

But in spite of his focus on poverty issues - Edwards is planning a "poverty tour" to raise awareness of the issue and his campaign -- recent polling suggests he is not popular among poor Democrats.

In a recent Washington Post/ABC poll, Clinton led the Democratic field among Democrat and Democrat-leaning households with incomes below $20,000. The New York Senator earned 55 percent of support while Edwards earned only 10 percent. Obama was second with 20 percent of support from those low-income households.

MoveOn.org said it will host at least one more virtual town hall meeting for members that will focus on health care policies.

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