A Democrat Ran on Climate Change in a Republican Stronghold—and Won

Casten’s focus on climate was mostly overlooked in the widespread coverage of his five-point upset of Roskam, who once referred to climate change as “junk science.” But it’s an important factor, considering the Democratic Party’s prevailing logic on the subject. Knowing that global warming can be a polarizing issue, most Democrats running in red or purple districts this year strategically avoided talking about it. They feared, according to The New York Times, that “highlighting climate change risks handing conservative voters a motivating issue to turn out against them.”