The New Republic magazine, in a report from Oklahoma, says that even in the country’s most conservative states, candidates who campaign on slowing climate change and other environmental issues are experiencing a surge in popularity. The magazine reports on the upcoming U.S. Senate race between the archconservative Republican incumbent, James Inhofe — who has said that “global warming is the second-largest hoax ever played on the American people, after the separation of church and state” — and his Democratic challenger, Andrew Rice. Rice is a 35-year-old state senator who has used climate change, the development of alternative energy, and other environmental issues to draw sharp contrasts between himself and Inhofe. Voters who are familiar with Rice’s environmental positions favor him 43 percent to 41 percent over Inhofe, in part, the magazine says, because of a growing concern among evangelical Christians about environmental issues. The magazine says that recent elections in Montana, Missouri, Ohio, and Colorado also have shown that running on environmental issues is increasingly effective.