Dems Find Going Green Can Turn Red States Blue

Oklahoma Senate race, with incumbent Inhofe in trouble, echoes Montana, others
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2008 7:00 PM CDT
Vice President Dick Cheney, left, shakes hands with Sen. Jim Inhofe.   (AP Photo/David Crenshaw)
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(Newser) – How is a 35-year-old, pro-choice, pro-civil-unions Democrat considered a serious challenge to Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe? It just might be the environment, the New Republic reports. "These people are out in the natural environment and they are seeing a lot of changes in the ecosystem, and they're concerned," Andrew Rice says of his hunting, farming fellow Oklahomans.

Wider concern on green issues have helped Democrats gain congressional seats recently in Montana, California, and elsewhere; it helps Rice's cause in Oklahoma that Inhofe is one of the most outspoken climate-change skeptics in Congress, once calling global warming a “hoax.” Even evangelicals are on board with Rice: "If (Inhofe) were really pro-life, he would not be opposed to things that stop greenhouse gases," one says.