TIME

The Left’s Quest to Create Hundreds of Elizabeth Warrens

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen Delivers Semiannual Report On The Economy To The Senate Banking Committee
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, listens to Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, during her semiannual report on the economy to the Senate Banking Committee in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 16, 2015.

“Elizabeth—she’s here?”

The thumbs up came from the back of the meeting room, and two hundred future Sen. Elizabeth Warrens stood up and waited for their prototype to enter. Spindly and with a bouncy step, the Massachusetts senator strode rapidly into the room and was waylaid by a friendly sea of imperfect facsimiles calling for selfies. “What a way to start the morning!” Warren said at last, breathless at the podium.

Warren was stopping by a conference on Thursday just a 10-minute walk away from the Capitol building in Washington DC, where the goal was unabashedly to bolster the Warren brand of the Democratic party. In the belly of the swank Washington Court Hotel—also the host of a recent events for steel wire producers and the beef industry—progressive candidates for municipal and state office across the country had gathered for a four-day affair to create a surge of Democratic candidates in municipal and state elections, and build a movement of rookie Warrens.

The conference, organized by the advocacy group Progressive Change Campaign Committee, was intended to train candidates and activists from states far flung as Wisconsin and Louisiana to run for office and eventually shape national policy. TIME was one of the only publications granted access to the meeting.

Much of the focus was on the nuts and bolts of effective campaigning and fundraising. Questions flew: Do candidates need to fundraise within their own district? How much time should candidates spend on fundraising calls? How do you best target voters during get-out-the-vote efforts? Should candidates’ events have red wine, or are cookies enough? The PCCC offered candidates who attended back-end internet tools replete with website templates, and readymade email blasters and event managers.

But Warren was the star attraction. “You are the progressive bench, and we need a bench,” Warren told them. Dozens of attendees wore identical blue shirts that said, I’m from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic party. “Elizabeth Warren is the North Star,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the PCCC. And the enthusiasm for Warren has spilled over all across the left: “I want to clone Elizabeth Warren into every candidate,” said Tefere Gebre the executive vice president of the AFL-CIO, in an interview with TIME two weeks ago.

In the Washington hotel, building an army of Warrens to challenge establishment-backed Democrats was exactly the point. “Yes, this is about building campaigns and winning office, but this is also about building a movement,” Warren said during her keynote on Thursday. “You are the living spark of the progressive movement.” It was a sentiment made clear by the conference organizers. “How do we elect 300 more Elizabeth Warrens?” said Stephanie Taylor, the co-founder of the PCCC who dreamt up the conference. “This training is part of it: finding them and giving them the tools to run great campaigns.”

For progressives, movement-building with Warren in the lead is in large part about catching up to conservatives. Republicans can boast of presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, Rush Limbaugh and a formidable coalition of right-wing legislators threatening to unseat their house speaker. Meanwhile the left has a few big-city mayors, a struggling cable network (MSNBC), handful of legislators (Sherrod Brown, Keith Ellison) and a upstart presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who counts Eugene V. Debs and the nation of Denmark among his biggest influences. And Warren, the progressive nonpareil, has refused to run for the White House.

Anger over the Obama years is a key motivator for conservatives. The stimulant on the left is made of a milder sauce, namely, disappointment over the Obama years, and many progressive ideals have faltered in Congress and on their way to the White House.

Republicans have taken notice of Warrens influence over Democrats. While the activists met in Washington, her name came up on the Republican campaign trail in Cedar Falls, Iowa. “The fact is the Democratic Party has a problem,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said. “Their problem is that Elizabeth Warren is taking over that party.”

“They’re all running to be just like Elizabeth Warren,” he added, saying that Hillary Clinton has borrowed from Warren’s playbook on the campaign trail.

Though Warren was only present for the first hour of the four-day training session, her name came up again and again. When she ran for Senate in 2012, Warren liked to make fundraising calls from her kitchen at home while boiling a pot of tea and wearing a headset, an alumna of Warren’s fundraising team, Sarah Badawi, told trainees. Joel Silberman, a speech trainer, said in a session that when he consulted Warren before a Massachusetts state convention speech, he told Warren a trick to cure nerves: count the number of steps to the podium.

Taylor and Green of the PCCC once sat on Warren’s front porch and shared lemonade and iced tea to convince her to first run for Senate, Warren noted during her address. The former director of research for Warren’s senatorial campaign, Peter Jones led a class on opposition research. (A quick Google search on Warren’s defeated opponent for Senate, Scott Brown, shows him shirtless in photos hawking diet pills, a fact that Warren recently noted in a speech.)

Most of those hoping to follow Warren’s lead at the conference don’t look anything like her or share her Ivy League background. There was the black state senator who represents Ferguson, an Indian-American candidate for Congress from a Detroit suburb, and as many pairs of sneakers as suits. Union organizers, mothers, climate activists, feminists and campaign staffers were in Washington from Vermont and Georgia.

“You are a part of a global re-owning of a populist, progressive vision of America,” said Zephyr Teachout, chief executive of the Mayday PAC which aims to get money out of politics.

Many at the conference argued local victories could sway their states, and ultimately, Congress. Over a lunch of ravioli and tagliatelli with lemon sauce and iced tea, two attendees from Rhode Island debated the merits of the conference. “The more states have something like paid leave, and it’s successful, more likely we’ll be able to get Congress to move it forward,” Shandi Hanna, an activist at the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island. “We need to infiltrate the system and change it.”

“You look around this room people—the people I’ve met makes me realize the country is moving in a good directions,” said Margaux Morisseau, a candidate for Rhode Island state Senate.

So far, the left has been incapable of the kind of movement that caught fire on the right after President Obama’s election. But in some ways, things have changed in recent years. Cities and states like California and Rhode Island are requiring businesses to provide paid family leave; activists in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle have with mixed success pushed for a $15-minium wage; Bernie Sanders has attracted crowds of 10,000 and more in purple and red states like Wisconsin and Arizona. To progressives, those are signs of shifting winds. “People will start to realize there’s a change happening from underneath. They’ll either have to evolve or die,” said Chris Larson, a state senator in Wisconsin.

Some date the recent wave in progressive activism back to Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign. A left-backed candidate, Dean’s loss in the primary spawned Democracy for America, a progressive PAC. The past five years has seen a slow increase in organizational support for progressive Democrats. DFA, MoveOn.org, Progressive Majority also aim to train progressive candidates for office.

It’s Warren’s message that has helped motivate them in recent years, and attendees repeatedly mentioned Warren’s name during the conference. “We can whine about this, we can whimper about this, or we can fight back,” Warren said Thursday. “I’m fighting back!”

The goal, of course, is victory against Republicans, and against old-line Democrats in primary contests. If they win, it will come the way of conquerors of old: by conversion, or a rout.

“It’s our movement,” said CM! Winters Palacio, a Chicago librarian (with punctuation in her first name) who is running for City Council and says she is facing pushback from the moderate Democratic mayor, Rahm Emmanuel. “We will eat the elephant one bite at a time.”

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Praises Mother In First TV Ads of 2016

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Stephen B. Morton—AP In this July 23, 2015 photo Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at a campaign event in Columbia, S.C.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign will air the first two television ads of the Democratic primary race on Tuesday, as part of an effort to head off Republican attacks and present Clinton as a “tenacious fighter” for everyday Americans.

In a five-week ad buy worth $1 million each in Iowa and New Hampshire, Clinton will share her personal story, explaining how she drew inspiration mother’s life, and discuss her work in and out of government on behalf of children.

The two advertisements, which appear geared to building Clinton’s reputation as a politician who cares about regular voters, will air in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s biggest media markets, and statewide in New Hampshire.

“When I think about why I’m doing this I think about my mother Dorothy. She was abandoned by her parents at the age of eight, sent from Chicago to LA to live with grandparents who didn’t want her,” Clinton says in the first advertisement. “But people showed her kindness, gave her a chance.”

Accompanied by footage of mothers and their children, Clinton says say, “That’s why I’m doing this. That’s why I’ve always done this. For all the Dorothys.”

The second advertisement focuses on Clinton’s time after college, when she worked for the Children’s Defense Fund, a kids’ advocacy group, and then touts her work on school reform and health care. The ad then turns to Clinton’s time as senator from New York, when she “made sure the heroes and families of 9/11 got the care they needed,” according to a voiceover.

The ad buys fit in with a larger theme the campaign has sought to broadcast since she announced: that Clinton has long been a strong advocate for children and Americans, a trait she learned from her own mother’s difficult childhood.

The Clinton campaign had long planned to air television ads sometime in the late summer, a campaign official said. Republicans are amassing cash for large ad buys in the four early states, and Clinton’s campaign anticipates that much of it is intended to attack Clinton.

Clinton’s spots aim to define the Democratic frontrunner with a positive biographical message.

“We’re going to make sure everyone knows who Hillary Clinton really is — who she fights for and what has motivated her lifelong commitment to children and families,” campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement. “Since Day One, we’ve planned for a competitive primary with Hillary herself working to earn every vote and, ultimately, the nomination. This is the natural next step.”

According to a nationwide Quinnipiac poll released at the end of July, 52% of Americans believe Clinton does not care about their needs.

Clinton’s campaign hopes that when voters know the Democratic frontrunner’s personal story, much of which was deemphasized during her last run for president, her poll numbers will improve.

The campaign filmed the footage of Clinton speaking to the camera about her mother in the first advertisement in June, as part of a plan to show Clinton’s record.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s challenger for the Democratic nomination, has gained momentum in Iowa and New Hampshire but is still at least 10 points behind her in polls.

TIME ted cruz

Ted Cruz Says Climate-Change Fears Falsified by Scientists and Politicians

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz greets supporters at the Georgia Republican Convention in Athens, Ga. on May 15, 2015.
David Goldman—AP Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz greets supporters at the Georgia Republican Convention in Athens, Ga. on May 15, 2015.

Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday said facts don’t support climate change, in a speech that described the notion as a front for power-hungry politicians who want to control Americans’ lives.

During an appearance before some of the most influential conservative donors in the country, the Texas Republican said there is no factual basis for scientists’ research that shows the planet is changing. The 2016 White House hopeful said none of the research is worth the paper it is printed on.

“If you look at satellite data for the last 18 years, there’s been zero recorded warming,” Cruz said in California’s Orange County. “The satellite says it ain’t happening.”

Instead, Cruz said, government researchers are reverse engineering data sets to falsify changes in the climate. “They’re cooking the books. They’re actually adjusting the numbers,” Cruz said. “Enron used to do their books the same way.”

Cruz said scientists four decades ago were studying “global cooling, a global ice age was coming,” and they were as wrong as those who now say the earth is warming.

“Senator, you’re not saying global warming isn’t real?” interrupted his interviewer, Politico’s Mike Allen.

“I’m saying that data and facts don’t support it,” Cruz said to applause from 450 donors to the political network organized by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch.

“Full on denial?” Allen replied, making sure he was understanding the first-term Senator.

Cruz was ready with his retort. “It is always disturbing to hear science use the language of theology. Deniers. Heretics. That’s not what sicence is supposed to be about. Science should follow the facts.”

Cruz then said the notion is being used to control the economy and energy industry in the hopes of combating of climate change. “To any power-greedy politician, this is the perfect theory. It can never, ever, ever be disproven,” Cruz said.

Science, however, does not back up Cruz’s position. Geochemist James Lawrence Powell, an adviser to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, reviewed peer-reviewed science journals and found that only two articles rejected climate change during 2013. His sample size: 10,885 articles.

TIME jeb bush

Jeb Bush on His Campaign Cash: Tough Luck if Critics Don’t Like It

Jeb Bush
John Locher—AP Republican presidential candidate former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at the Maverick PAC conference in Las Vegas on July 17, 2015.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has no apologies for using a network of political committees to out-raise his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.

“You are officially certified as the $120 million man,” Politico’s Mike Allen said to Bush during an on-stage interview at a summit of GOP mega-donors.

“What’s the question?” Bush deadpanned.

“How much is too much?” Allen pressed.

“I don’t know. But I think you might as well frontload it if you can. This is along haul. Are we supposed to just warm up and work your way into it? Am I missing something here?” Bush said.

Bush’s campaign raised $11.4 million and the Super PAC supporting him collected more than $103 million so far, according to finance filings. Another political committee backing Bush brought in almost $5.4 million. Of the $120 million the groups have collected, they have spent less than $14 million so far.

“Money helps. I’m playing by the rules of the game the way it’s laid out,” said Bush, who worked with the political committees before officially becoming a candidate. He also sent several of his former top advisers to outside groups to manage the unlimited cash machines. “If people don’t like it, that’s just tough luck,” he added.

Bush’s lack of concern over collecting large amounts of money was shared by the 450 mega-donors who were meeting this weekend at events organized by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch. Together, they plan to spend $889 million on non-profits, activism and politics before Election Day 2016.

TIME Environment

Obama to Unveil ‘Most Important Step’ Ever to Combat Climate Change

President hails new regulations as "the biggest, most important step" ever taken to combat climate change

The White House plans to unveil regulations on Monday to dramatically curtail greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and eventually revamp the country’s energy industry. The regulations, billed by the President Obama as “the biggest, most important step” ever taken to address climate change, play a key role in the President’s aim to make combatting climate change a priority of his final months in office.

The Environmental Protection Agency rules, finalized versions of 2012 and 2014 proposals, call for a 32% reduction in carbon emissions from power plants by 2030 from 2005 levels. The White House projects that the rules will drive increased investment in renewable energy, leading to 30% more clean energy generation by 2030 and a dramatic reduction in coal power.

“No matter who you are, where you live or what you care about, climate change is personal and it’s affecting you and your family today,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told reporters Sunday on a conference call.

The rule sets carbon emissions reductions standards for each state to meet based on the current makeup of the state’s energy sources. Under the regulation, each state will be allowed to determine how it meets those standards, whether by targeting specific plants or making changes across the board. The plan also includes an incentive program to provide federal funds for states to develop clean energy.

The plan has already been met with intense criticism from the oil and gas industry, including the promise of legal challenges. Republicans in Congress, as well as state governors, have taken up the mantle of challenging the rule saying that it would harm the economy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent letters to governors across the country in March providing the legal arguments to suggest that the federal government lacks the authority to mandate such reductions.

“This proposed regulation would have a negligible effect on global climate but a profoundly negative impact on countless American families already struggling,” McConnell wrote in a March op-ed in the Lexington Herald-Leader. “The regulation is unfair. It’s probably illegal.”

The White House and environmental advocates have argued that the rule would stimulate the economy and create tens of thousands of jobs. Asked whether the EPA has the legal authority to implement the rule, McCarthy said that the agency had considered the legal issues and the measure is “legally a very strong rule.”

Monday’s news is one of many expected announcements from the White House designed to elevate the issue of climate change in the U.S. The President will highlight the issue in his meeting with Pope Francis this fall and his travel to Alaskan Arctic, and has announced a number of new policies and partnerships. All told, the attention is meant to position the U.S. as a leader in fighting climate change in the lead up to a United Nations conference on climate change in December.

“This rule actually enhances in important ways our ability to achieve the international commitments that we have,” said Brian Deese on a conference call for journalists. “This rule gives us a strong foundation to keep pushing against our international commitment.”

MORE Here’s Where to Buy a House In the U.S. That Will Be Resilient to Climate Change

TIME 2016 Election

Charles Koch Says U.S. Can Bomb Its Way to $100,000 Salaries

Charles Koch
Bo Rader—Getty Images Charles Koch, head of Koch Industries.

Conservative billionaire Charles Koch is predicting average American incomes of $100,000 annually in roughly a decade if government is scaled back and regulations are scrapped.

One way to get there? Building and using more bombs, he jokingly told about 450 donors to the political network he backs.

“I think we can have growth rates in excess of 4%. When I’m talking about growth rates, I’m not talking about that GDP, which counts poison gas the same as it counts penicillin,” the 79-year-old industrialist said, veering off his prepared remarks. “What a monstrous measure this is. If we make more bombs, the GDP goes up — particularly if we explode them.”

His audience laughed, clearly getting the joke.

“Maybe we make more bombs,” he said, trailing off. “I’m just kidding. I won’t go there.”

Koch was making the broader point that economic growth compounds from year to year. A modest gain early pays greater dividends later. To that end, Koch is trying to make 4% a target for growth.

Koch is meeting with his allies in tony Orange County, Calif., for a three-day retreat. Participants in sessions ponied up $100,000 and most will shell out much more than that before the weekend is over. All told, Koch’s umbrella organization, Freedom Partners, plans to spend almost $900 million before the 2016 elections.

In addition to seminars on criminal justice, campus free speech and young voters’ habits, guests are also set to hear from five Republicans seeking their party’s presidential nomination.

TIME 2016 elections

Rubio: Iran Could Nuke California Within a Decade

Marco Rubio
Carolyn Kaster—AP Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Tehran could bomb "where we are sitting right now," Florida Republican said at Orange County retreat

Sen. Marco Rubio warned Sunday the shores of California are only a decade away from being darkened by a nuclear mushroom cloud from Iran.

Speaking to some of the most influential Republican donors in the country at an Orange County retreat organized by billionaires Charles and David Koch, the Florida Republican sounded the alarm that Iran proses a real and short-term threat to Americans at home. Before a crowd of 450 donors, Rubio said Americans need to realize the dangers posed by an unchecked Iran, as well as rising threats from China and Islamic terrorism.

“Iran will be not just a nuclear weapon power, but will have the capability to deliver that weapon to the continental United States in less than a decade,” Rubio said. “I don’t think any of us wants to live in a country where a radical Shiite cleric in Tehran can have a nuclear weapon and an ICBM that can hit where we are sitting right now.”

Rubio is among the five Republican White House hopefuls who are meeting with key players of the political machine backed by the Kochs. In total, the groups plan to spend almost $900 million before Election Day 2016, although aides stress that the sum is not going to be spent entirely on political operations.

During an interview with Politico’s Mike Allen, Rubio told the donors that foreign policy should be a major qualification of the next President. Asked about the biggest threats facing the United States, Rubio cited Islamic terrorism, Russia and Iran. He also pointed to China, which he branded a serial violator of human rights. “I don’t want the most powerful country in the world to have values like that.”

He also took his turn with the friendly audience to ding Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State. “It’s an issue that’s ongoing not just with her but also her husband, and that is the constant secrecy and drama that surrounds them everywhere they go,” Rubio said. “This country cannot afford another four years of drama that they seem to bring to everything that they’re involved in.”

TIME 2016 Election

Joe Biden’s Circle Takes Closer Look at 2016 Run

Joe Biden
Evan Vucci—AP Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the White House Clean Energy Investment Summit on June 16, 2015, in Washington.

But the Vice President has yet to make a decision on whether to challenge Hillary Clinton

Vice President Joe Biden’s associates have resumed discussions about a 2016 presidential run after largely shelving such deliberations while his son was sick and dying earlier this year. But Biden has yet to tell his staff whether he will run or personally ask them to do any planning for a potential campaign, according to several people close to the vice president.

Recent conversations between Biden’s associates and Democratic donors and operatives have led to speculation that Biden will challenge front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton for the party’s nomination, and individuals close to Biden have started looking into the options that might be available to him if he were to run, such as potential staff in Iowa and the filing deadlines for entering the Democratic field.

But the people close to the vice president say his launching a White House run remains uncertain. Biden is expected to make a final decision as soon as early September, according to those familiar with his plans.

The people close to Biden spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the deliberations publicly.

The renewed focus on Biden comes amid some signs of weakness for Clinton, including declines in her favorability ratings among voters in recent polling. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is challenging Clinton for the Democratic nomination, has been attracting large crowds with his liberal economic message, evidence of a hunger within the party for an alternative to Clinton’s candidacy.

Biden’s entry could reshape the dynamics of the Democratic primary, giving the party another option that might appeal to a wide swath of voters. Yet Clinton remains enormously popular among Democrats. She has amassed a large staff of seasoned operatives and raised nearly $50 million for her campaign.

There are few signs, meanwhile, that Biden is taking solid steps toward launching a campaign. He has had little interaction with a “draft Biden” group pushing him to run, and has yet to look for office space in early voting states or raise money for a potential bid.

Kendra Barkoff, the vice president’s press secretary, said Biden was spending his time working on President Barack Obama’s agenda, not on planning his own potential presidential campaign.

“As the Biden family continues to go through this difficult time, the vice president is focused on his family and immersed in his work,” Barkoff said.

Biden’s son, Beau, died of brain cancer in May. The younger Biden’s death prompted an outpouring of support for the vice president, who also lost a daughter and his first wife in a car accident in 1972.

Since Beau Biden’s death, his father has surrounded himself with longtime confidants and former aides for comfort and emotional support. But these allies also were involved with Biden’s two previous presidential campaigns. Former Delaware Sen. Ted Kaufman, who has advised Biden for most of his political career, and Mike Donilon, a friend and longtime political aide, have both been given offices in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building steps from the vice president’s West Wing office.

In recent weeks, a bevy of longtime donors, supporters and former staffers have reached out to the vice president and his staff to offer their condolences, as well as to say they’d be on board if he chooses to run.

The intense speculation around a potential Biden run grew even louder this past week when Fox News reported that Biden chief of staff Steve Ricchetti had met for breakfast with Louis Susman, a prominent Democratic donor and former U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom. But individuals familiar with the meeting said Susman and Ricchetti are longtime friends and that Susman initiated the meeting.

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd also reported Saturday that Beau Biden had, before his death, urged his father to run.

Biden, who is 72, would be the oldest president ever elected to a first term if he ran for the White House and won. He would bring to the race 36 years of experience in the Senate as well as a breadth of foreign and domestic policy experience from his years as vice president and two previous presidential campaigns. He’s been a key negotiator for Obama during fiscal fights on Capitol Hill and also the point person for administration policy in Ukraine and Iraq.

However, Biden’s freewheeling, undisciplined style has caused headaches for the White House and has long been a concern for Democrats as he’s weighed the prospect of running in 2016.

___

Lederman reported from New York. Associated Press writer Lisa Lerer contributed to this report.

TIME 2016 Election

Donald Trump Holds Lead in New Poll as GOP Debate Nears

The Trump surge shows no sign of abating

Donald Trump continues to lead the Republican primary field for the 2016 presidential nomination just days before the leading candidates debate for the first time, according to results from a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released on Sunday.

The poll found that Trump was the first choice for 19% of Republican primary voters, surging ahead of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 15% and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 14%. Trump’s lead, according to the Journal, is a “significant” jump from the previous WSJ/NBC poll conducted in June, when only 1% of surveyed Republicans had picked him as their first choice — a triumph many have attributed to the buzz surrounding Trump’s flurry of controversies.

Only the 10 candidates with the highest averages across the last five national polls will be eligible to participate on Thursday’s inaugural GOP debate on Fox News. Although the precise averaging method is not yet known, NBC estimated that the top ten candidates as of Sunday — in addition to Trump, Walker and Bush — are Sen. Rand Paul, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Sen. Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Firmly atop the national polls, the real state mogul also took the opportunity on Sunday morning to take a jab at some of his fellow GOP candidates, who attended an event on Saturday hosted by a group affiliated with multibillionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch:

The WSJ/NBC poll, whose full results will be released on Monday, was conducted between July 26 and July 30. The margin of error for 252 surveyed GOP primary voters is ±6.17%.

Read Next: The Trumpification of Congress

[WSJ]

TIME Environment

Obama to Unveil Stricter Rules to Fight Climate Change

Will require a 32 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

President Barack Obama will impose even steeper cuts on greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants than previously expected, senior administration officials said Sunday, in what the president called the most significant step the U.S. has ever taken to fight global warming.

A year after proposing unprecedented carbon dioxide limits, Obama was poised to finalize the rule at a White House event on Monday. In a video posted to Facebook, Obama said the limits were backed up by decades of data showing that without tough action, the world will face more extreme weather and escalating health problems like asthma.

“Climate change is not a problem for another generation,” Obama said. “Not anymore.”

Opponents vowed to sue immediately, and planned to ask the courts to put the rule on hold while legal challenges play out. Many states have threatened not to comply.

In his initial proposal, Obama had mandated a 30 percent nationwide cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. The final version will require a 32 percent cut instead, said the officials, who weren’t authorized to comment by name and requested anonymity.

The final rule also gives states an additional two years — until 2022 — to comply, officials said, yielding to complaints that the original deadline was too soon. States will also have until 2018 instead of 2017 to submit their plans for how they’ll meet their targets.

But the administration will attempt to incentivize states to take action earlier by offering credits to states that boost renewable sources like wind and solar in 2020 and 2021, officials said.

The focus on renewables marks a significant shift from the earlier version that sought to accelerate the ongoing transition from coal-fired power to natural gas plants, which emit far less carbon dioxide. The revised rule aims to keep the share of natural gas in the nation’s power mix at current levels.

The stricter limits in the final plan were certain to incense energy industry advocates who had already balked at the more lenient limits in the proposed plan. But the Obama administration said its tweaks would cut energy costs and address concerns about power grid reliability.

The Obama administration previously predicted the emissions limits will cost up to $8.8 billion annually by 2030, although it said those costs would be far outweighed by health savings from fewer asthma attacks and other benefits. The actual price won’t be clear until states decide how they’ll reach their targets.

America’s largest source of greenhouse gases, power plants account for roughly one-third of all U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming. Obama’s rule assigns customized targets to each state, then leaves it up to the state to determine how to meet them.

In the works for years, the power plant rule forms the cornerstone of Obama’s plan to curb U.S. emissions and keep global temperatures from climbing, and its success is pivotal to the legacy Obama hopes to leave on climate change. Never before has the U.S. sought to restrict carbon dioxide from existing power plants.

By clamping down on power plant emissions, Obama is also working to increase his leverage and credibility with other nations whose commitments he’s seeking for a global climate treaty to be finalized later this year in Paris. As its contribution to that treaty, the U.S. has pledged to cut overall emissions 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025, compared to 2005.

Even before the rule was finalized, more than a dozen states announced plans to fight it. At the urging of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, some Republican governors have declared they simply won’t comply, setting up a certain confrontation with the Environmental Protection Agency, which by law can force its own plan on states that fail to submit implementation plans.

Yet even in many of those states, power companies and local utility authorities have started preparing to meet the targets. New, more efficient plants that are replacing older and dirtier ones have already pushed emissions down nearly 13 percent since 2005, putting them about halfway to meeting Obama’s goal.

In Congress, lawmakers have sought to use legislation to stop Obama’s regulation. McConnell has also tried previously to use an obscure, rarely successful maneuver to allow Congress to vote it down.

The more serious threat to Obama’s rule will likely come in the courts. The Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, which represents energy companies, said 20 to 30 states were poised to join with industry in suing over the rule. The Obama administration has a mixed track record in fending off legal challenges to its climate rules.

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