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Voters of color in Nevada, Colorado influenced by climate change, survey shows

A bird’s eye view of homes burnt to the ground by a wildfire in a neighborhood. Several trees and shrubbery are blackened throughout the composition.
Scorched homes in Louisville, Colo., from the 2021 Marshall Fire, which destroyed more than 1,000 structures.

Polling data shows that many voters of color in the Mountain West were influenced by climate change more than the electorate at large during the 2022 midterm elections.

According to the African American Research Collaborative, which surveyed Black and Latino voters in 11 battleground states, climate change and extreme weather was the most important issue for 20% of Black voters in Colorado. That’s three percentage points higher than all voters nationwide.

Moreover, 93% of Black voters in the state support investments that the Inflation Reduction Act is making in clean energy to reduce toxic air and carbon pollution.

In Nevada, climate was a top concern for 17% of Black voters, and 84% support federal legislation efforts to combat the problem.

Henry Fernandez, CEO of the African American Research Collaborative, said the group’s data out of Nevada and Colorado mirror the national averages.

“There’s kind of like this shift in thinking, where it’s like, ‘No, no, climate change is real. And we need to deal with it,’ ” Fernandez said. “And people are willing to have the government make big investments.”

Climate change was not as big of a motivating factor for Latino voters. It was the top issue for 17% of the demographic in Colorado and 12% in Nevada.

In both Mountain West states, the share of Latino voters that supported the Biden administration’s investments in clean energy was roughly 80%.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Kaleb is an award-winning journalist and KUNR’s Mountain West News Bureau reporter. His reporting covers issues related to the environment, wildlife and water in Nevada and the region.
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