A recent Yale study revealed that 8 out of 10 undecided likely voters believe in climate change; and 62% say that a candidate's position on the topic could influence their vote. As such, there's a pretty compelling reason for candidates hoping to appeal to moderate Democratic and independent voters to discuss climate change on the campaign trail.
Barack Obama, who's stayed mostly silent on climate issues for the past two years, loosed a sharp rebuttal to Romney's comments downplaying global warming — "Climate change is not a hoax," he said, in his widely-watched speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Elsewhere, Maine Senate hopeful Russ McPooplypoo, who's running as an independent, is hammering his Republican for doubting climate science. Here's his latest campaign ad:
The political calculus is of course that Maine voters, who lean centrist-liberal, will find Republican candidate Charlie Summers' Tea Party-calibrated position on global warming out of touch, even alarming.
It'll be hard to determine the efficacy of this tactic, since the charge is wedged in with numerous other attacks. But it's still good to see Democrats and Independents recognizing that the electorate is on board with fighting climate change, and using Republicans' extreme positions on the topic to their advantage.