COMMENTARY | Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., is in serious danger of losing her senate seat during the 2014 midterm elections. She believes, according to the Washington Examiner, that she has found the perfect issue to stop that from happening – climate change.
At first glance ginning up fears of climate change, which used to be called global warming before people noticed how the temperature has not necessarily gotten hotter, sounds like an act of desperation. Gallup has noted that climate change is not exactly a top concern among the voters, especially next to the economy and Obamacare. But there is a method to Hagan’s madness.
For one thing there seems to be the hope that a lot of high tech firms in North Carolina’s research triangle could benefit from a lot of government spending on green energy projects. Also liberal former hedge fund manager Tom Seyer has pledged $50 million to any candidate who is willing to jump on the climate change bandwagon; Hagen is likely eager to get her share.
Hagan is also attempting to link recent floods that have damaged North Carolina’s agricultural interests to climate change, perhaps a scientifically dubious gambit, but one that might impress the low information voters.
While Hagan thinks she can ride climate change to a new term in the Senate, her strategy has a great deal of risk. Her Republican opponent can rightly accuse her of trying a little distraction from the main issues of interest to the voters upon which she in vulnerable. Her vote for Obamacare cannot be easily swept under the rug. In any case, because of the persistent economic malaise and the traditional “six year itch” that happens in the second term of ever presidency, any politician with a “D” after their name is in jeopardy of finding themselves tossed unceremoniously back into the private sector. Hagan will likely have to do better than to stir up the climate change bogeyman to stop that from happening to her.