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Miami offers a model for putting aside partisanship to confront climate change

Miami is one of the cities most threatened by climate change in the US. Rising seas, which already bubble up through gutters during high tides, threaten to displace as many as 800,000 Miami-Dade county residents by the end of the century absent urgent action. Because of that, its voters generally reward progressive political candidates who back measures to cut carbon emissions and fund a federal response to sea level rise.

But in the Nov. 3 national elections, the Miami-Dade county electorate swung hard to the right.

The majority-Democrat county, which favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by 30 percentage points in 2016’s presidential race, gave president-elect Joe Biden just an eight point margin, dooming the Democrat’s chances to win Florida. The rightward-shifting electorate also unseated two Democrat congressional incumbents, Donna Shalala and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, in favor of their Republican challengers.

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