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The political impasse over global warming legislation stems from obstacles in the mass media arena, public awareness, electoral politics as well as governmental policy. Advocates of global warming policy have to be simultaneously successful in all four major public arenas to prevail. This article provides an overview of the obstacles in each public arena in the United States highlighting the broader context in which McCright and Dunlap's analysis of polarized public opinion operates. Global warming advocates have had their greatest success in the media arena but are checked by the rise of a conservative counter-campaign as well as media reporting norms, which have contributed to polarized public opinion and limited salience of the issue. Global warming never ranks in the top issue list to which electoral candidates attend, giving it little priority in national electoral contests. Although the House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey Bill in 2009, the bill died in the Senate and will not resurface until the Democratic margin is again large enough to overcome opposition vetoes. At the same time, major legislation has often incubated on the margins of these public arenas for significant time until a political crisis removes the normal obstacles to such major “watershed” legislation. For global warming, the long march through American public arenas appears to have begun.