Conservatives are delighted with Fiorina's performance. Thrilled. Pumped. They think she crushed Couric and showed how to outwit liberals on climate change.
The key to a "moderate" Republican position on climate change is that it has to neutralize the science debate, which party leaders have concluded is not favorable terrain. The Tea Party base remains staunchly wedded to science denialism, but everywhere else on the political spectrum (including among other Republicans), majorities now agree that climate change is a problem that warrants serious solutions. Denialism, concentrated in conservative white men, has become a liability among young people, Hispanics, and other demographics Republicans badly need to court.
So the trick for the aspiring Republican moderate is to acknowledge the scientific consensus on climate change while maintaining opposition to any policy that might penalize fossil fuels or advantage renewable energy.
Jeb Bush has tried to do this, with little success. But Fiorina seems to have pulled it off, at least in the eyes of conservatives.
Carly Fiorina did a 4-minute riff on climate change. Everything she said was wrong. - Vox