Presidential Candidates: Where Do They Stand, Where Do You Stand?

With the Presidential Primaries quickly approaching, it’s time to decide who you will vote for! But I know how overwhelming it can feel to sort through each candidate and their stance on all the issues. So I’ve put together a few charts outlining some of the top Republican and Democrat candidates and their stance on 19 different issues. There was a lot of info to sort through (a lot — I hope you appreciate all this because I almost gave up several times) but here’s a quick rundown of how to navigate the charts.

Each of the charts falls into one of five main categories: Individual Rights, Domestic Issues, Economic Issues, Defense and International Issues, and Foreign Policy. At the end of each chart is a key-code with a broad definition of what the candidates’ stance translates to. At the bottom of each chart is a “NEXT” or “PREVIOUS” button that allows you to scroll through all the issues included in this section.

A few things I learned while going through the candidates:

  • You will not agree with each candidate 100%, so don’t discount anyone just because you don’t agree on one or two issues. It will be important to prioritize which issues are most important for you and then find the candidate who you most agree with.
  • These are complicated issues, so each candidate (for the most part) has elements of both sides of the coin. To help you understand how the candidate really feels about an issue, I’ve also included “What the Candidate Has Said” about this issue on most of the charts. This will help you get a better understanding of where the candidate stands on a particular issue.
  • Just hearing bullet points is not enough; you must do your own research and dig further into the details of what the candidates really stand for (ex: gay marriage: “oppose gay marriage but not homosexuality)
  • Once I started doing research into each of the candidates — and seeing what they had actually said on each issue — I was surprised to find that I agreed with some candidates more or less than I had previously thought.
  • Here are two websites that have been very helpful to me as I researched the candidates.

This first website was probably the most useful for me and the one I’d recommend the most. It allows you to answer a series of questions which you can also rate on the level of importance to you and then tells you which candidate you tend to vote most like. It also breaks down your similarity percentage for each major candidate — including the ones`you disagreed with. https://www.isidewith.com/political-quiz

This second one allows the user to go issue-by-issue and see each candidate’s view on the issue. http://www.ontheissues.org/default.htm

  • For all the voters out there who think all politicians are corrupt and are looking for a Third Party candidate, I’ve included Roseanne Barr of the Peace and Freedom Party for your consideration <I hope you realize that I’m being sarcastic and have only included her to lighten this very dense subject. But she really is running as a Third Party candidate for President.>

Happy Hunting!

*NOTE: These charts are best viewed on a laptop or home computer, not a cell phone.*

Individual Rights

Abortion, Women & Minorities, Same-Sex Marriage, Religion (Keeping God in Public Sphere), Environment
CandidatePositionWhat the Candidate Said
Jeb BushOpposes abortion rights.Abortion ok when LIFE of mother at risk, not just her HEALTH. Defund Planned Parenthood, but not with federal shutdown. I defunded Planned Parenthood in Florida; do same federally. Parental consent; clinic regulation; pro-life counseling. Prevent use of public funds for stem cell research. Restrict abortions to incest, rape, & health.
Ben CarsonStrongly opposes abortion rights. Drugs OK to prevent conception in instances of rape & incest. Maybe exceptions for life of mother, not for rape or incest. No abortion for convenience.
Chris ChristieOpposes abortion rights. "Default pro-choice" until hearing 13-week fetal heartbeat. Ban abortions after 20 weeks, with exceptions. I'm pro-life with exceptions; take it or leave it. Put defunding of Planned Parenthood on the president's desk. Successfully defunded Planned Parenthood in New Jersey. 1994: Donated to Planned Parenthood; opposed public donation. 1996: partial birth procedure is reprehensible.
Hillary ClintonStrongly favors abortion rights. Expand embryonic stem cell research. Keep abortion safe, legal and rare. Lift ban on stem cell research to cure devastating diseases. Must safeguard constitutional rights, including choice. NO on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life. NO on criminal penalty for harming unborn fetus during other crime. NO on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. NO on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion. Sponsored bill for emergency contraception for rape victims. Sponsored bill providing contraceptives for low-income women. Supports parental notice & family planning. Voted liberal line on partial birth & harm to fetus. YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines.
Ted CruzStrongly opposes abortion rights. Ban taxpayer funding of abortion & partial birth abortion. Companies can deny insuring birth control. Opposes churches providing birth control. Opposes public abortion funding. Protect innocent human life with partial-birth ban.
Carly FiorinaOpposes abortion rights. Ban abortions 20 weeks after fertilization. Opposes both federal abortion funding & judicial activism. Opposes prohibiting human embryonic stem cell research. Sanctity of life, except in the case of rape and incest. Supports giving legal protection to unborn children.
Rand PaulStrongly opposes abortion rights. Force a Senate vote on defunding Planned Parenthood. Fund community health centers instead of Planned Parenthood. Life begins at conception. Opposes federal abortion funding. Supports "Plan B" morning-after contraception. Supports religious freedom to deny contraceptive coverage.
Marco RubioStrongly opposes abortion rights. Abortion is complex issue; we must reduce the number of them. Pro-life, but understands that woman's right is the law. Abortion is complex issue; we must reduce the number of them. Ban abortion after 20 weeks. Consensus that life begins at conception; so no abortion. Expand birth control exemption for faith-based organizations. Supports prohibiting human embryonic stem cell research.
Bernie SandersStrongly favors abortion rights. Ban anti-abortion limitations on abortion services. Ensure access to and funding for contraception. Focus on preventing pregnancy, plus emergency contraception. NO on banning partial-birth abortion except to save mother’s life.
Donald TrumpOpposes abortion rights. Ban late abortions; exceptions for rape, incest or health. Defund Planned Parenthood. Favors abortion rights but respects opposition. I am now pro-life; after years of being pro-choice. I am pro-life; fight ObamaCare abortion funding. I changed my views to pro-life based on personal stories. Planned Parenthood is important, but abortions must stop.
Roseanne BarrStrongly favors abortion rights. Abortion is a woman's right.
Abortion PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsThe right to abortion empowers women and is an important part of women's health rights and women's reproductive freedom. That right includes the right to a government subsidy for poor women who want an abortion. You believe in the 'Right to Choose' and are strongly pro-choice.
FavorsRestricting 'Partial-Birth Abortions' or other specific procedures is reasonable, but clinic access should be unfettered, since other women may choose differently than you. You are pro-choice, but believe that some restrictions are acceptable.
OpposesThe fetus is a human being who has rights independent of its mother's rights. You are "pro-life." While abortion under certain circumstances might be tolerated, the basic rights belong to the fetus, not the mother.
Strongly OpposesAbortion is immoral because it kills a human being, and should never be tolerated. 'Roe v. Wade' should be overturned and we should protest abortion clinics as other forms of injustice are protested.
Jeb BushOpposes legally requiring the hiring of women and minorities. Opposes affirmative action. Gay rights & feminism are "modern victim movements." Provide licensure exams in Spanish, for free. Dismantled Florida's affirmative action program. Replaced affirmative action with "One Florida" initiative.
Ben CarsonOpposes legally requiring the hiring of women and minorities. Opposes affirmative action. Underdog status is no longer determined by race. Political correctness undermines Black Lives Matter movement. Arrests for "Driving While Black" is common.
Chris ChristieOpposes legally requiring the hiring of women and minorities. Neutral on affirmative action. Black Lives Matter encourages cop killing.
Hillary ClintonStrongly favors legally requiring the hiring of women and minorities. Strongly favors affirmative action. Equal pay is not yet equal. Human rights are women’s rights. Re-introduce the Equal Rights Amendment. We’ve come a long way on race, but we have a long way to go.
Ted CruzOpposes legally requiring the hiring of women and minorities. Opposes affirmative action. Disallow Ku Klux Klan from participating in Adopt-A-Highway. Don't empower more lawsuits by demanding equal pay. Supports ending racial preferences for college admissions. NO on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.
Carly FiorinaFavors legally requiring the hiring of women and minorities. Favors affirmative action.Hired by AT&T after court ordered them to promote more women. Named "Most Powerful Businesswoman", but lists are bad idea. U.S. will be better off when women have equal opportunity. Women professionals are not treated the same as men.
Rand PaulOpposes legally requiring the hiring of women and minorities. Opposes affirmative action.Women won the "war on women": they're no longer downtrodden. Boycott countries that demonize women, like Saudi Arabia. Be aware of those who are missing out on American Dream.
Marco RubioOpposes legally requiring the hiring of women and minorities. Opposes affirmative action. Voted against Paycheck Fairness Act. Incentivize foreign language curriculum in elementary school.
Bernie SandersStrongly favors legally requiring hiring women and minorities. Strongly favors affirmative action. Affirmative Action makes up for past injustice. Until blacks, women, and other minorities are proportionately represented in the upper classes of the economy and the workplace, society owes them a hand up. Government should actively enforce Affirmative Action laws in private companies. NO on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions.
Donald TrumpOpposes legally requiring the hiring of women and minorities. Neutral on affirmative action. I'm "fine" with affirmative action, for now. Political correctness is country's problem, not my problem.
Roseanne BarrRequire companies to hire more women & minorities.
Affirmative Action PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsAffirmative Action makes up for past injustice. Until blacks, women, and other minorities are proportionately represented in the upper classes of the economy and the workplace, society owes them a hand up. Government should actively enforce Affirmative Action laws in private companies.
FavorsUnder-represented groups should be favored, but perhaps basing results on formal quotas goes too far. Nevertheless, the government should prosecute companies which discriminate against women and minorities.
OpposesAffirmative Action is a noble idea, but should not be enforced by government. Government should enforce an end to racial prejudice, period.
Strongly OpposesAffirmative Action is better described as Reverse Discrimination. Quotas based on race and gender are wrong, whichever race or gender they favor. Under-represented groups should fend for themselves without government intervention.
Jeb BushOpposes same-sex marriage. Don't create gays as another category of victims. Don't-ask-don't-tell ok if it doesn't affect policy. Let businesses express religious freedom against gays. Respect civil unions & same-sex lifetime commitments.
Ben CarsonOpposes same-sex marriage. Constitution protects gays equally, but not marriage. Give gays rights, but not marriage, because it's a choice. Legal binding relationship for gays to enjoy property rights.
Chris ChristieComfortable with homosexuality but opposes same-sex marriage. Disagree with Supreme Court, but gay marriage is law of land. Homosexuality is not a sin; people are born that way. If my kids were gay, I'd give them a hug; but no marriage. Marriage is an institution between one man & one woman.
Hillary ClintonStrongly favors same-sex marriage. Gays deserve domestic partnership benefits. I support gay marriage personally and as law.
Ted CruzStrongly opposes same-sex marriage. Most states can ignore Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage. One-man-one-woman marriage is building block of society. Opposes gay pride parades and opposes gay marriage.
Carly FiorinaComfortable with homosexuality but opposes same-sex marriage. Supreme Court overstepped by legalizing same-sex marriage. Supports Amendment to prevent same sex marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman; but civil unions ok.
Rand PaulComfortable with homosexuality but opposes same-sex marriage. Gay contracts ok, but gay marriage is offensive. Let states decide same-sex marriage; don't federalize it. Make federal benefits equal for gay couples. Opposes same-sex marriage. Redefining marriage leads to economic and moral problems.
Marco RubioStrongly opposes gay marriage. Strongly opposes gay marriage.
Bernie SandersStrongly agrees with same-sex marriage. Neither governments nor corporations have any right to decide about sexual preferences. Give same-sex partners the same status as heterosexual partners, and give same-sex marriages the same status as traditional marriage.
Donald TrumpOpposes same-sex marriage. After Supreme Court vote, gay marriage is a reality. No gay marriage; no same-sex partner benefits. Same-sex marriage is a state issue. Tolerate diversity; prosecute hate crimes against gays.
Roseanne BarrStrongly favors same-sex marriage. Support same-sex domestic partnership benefits.
Same-Sex Marriage PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsNeither governments nor corporations have any right to decide about sexual preferences. Give same-sex partners the same status as heterosexual partners, and give same-sex marriages the same status as traditional marriage.
FavorsHomosexuals should be treated with equal respect as other members of society, not treated as criminals. You acknowledge the diversity of our society by including same-sex partners in most or all benefits of heterosexual marriage partners, but civil unions are preferable to using the term 'marriage.'
OpposesHomosexuality is a lifestyle choice, and therefore those who choose it should live by the consequences of their choice. Marriage between a man and a woman is the central institution of American society - we shouldn't do anything that perverts that concept or threatens that ideal.
Strongly OpposesHomosexuality is immoral. You believe that the 'Gay Agenda' seeks to normalize homosexual activity and make it part of the mainstream as 'just another lifestyle.' We must draw the line so that homosexual values are not imposed upon our children.
Jeb BushStrongly favors keeping God in the public sphere. Don't restrict creationism discussion, but don't require it. Focus on abstinence. More government money to religious groups. School prayer OK if prayers are voluntary and student-led.
Ben CarsonStrongly favors keeping God in the public sphere. All religions provide beliefs that make us reasonable. End the "war on God." Islam is inconsistent with the Constitution. National Day of Prayer is a suggestion, not a requirement. PC police make us afraid to say "Merry Christmas"
Chris ChristieOpposes keeping God in the public sphere. Catholicism informs who I am; but not my political decisions. No federal department to promote Judeo-Christian values.
Hillary ClintonOpposes keeping God in the public sphere. Allow student prayer, but no religious instruction. Rated 0% by the Christian Coalition: an anti-Family-Value voting record. Rated 100% by the AU, indicating support of church-state separation. Teach Bible as history & literature; not science or religion. *NO on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration
Ted CruzStrongly favors keeping God in the public sphere. Defend Judeo-Christian values against liberal fascism. Defend Ten Commandments and "under God" in the Pledge. Rated 100% by the AU, indicating opposition to separation of church & state. Stop IRS from asking: 'tell me the content of your prayers'.
Carly FiorinaNo DataNo Data
Rand PaulFavors keeping God in the public sphere. Rated 100% by the AU, indicating opposition to separation of church & state. Resist government imposing religious views of marriage.
Marco RubioStrongly favors keeping God in the public sphere. Acknowledge God in everything we do & everywhere we go. Rated 100% by the AU, indicating opposition to separation of church & state. Silent on voluntary school prayer.
Bernie SandersStrongly opposes keeping God in the public sphere. NO on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration. NO on treating religious organizations equally for tax breaks. NO on responsible fatherhood via faith-based organizations. NO on protecting the Pledge of Allegiance. Rated 0% by the AU, indicating support of separation of church & state.
Donald TrumpNeutral/No OpinionNeutral/No Opinion
Roseanne BarrStrongly opposes keeping God in the public sphere. Oppose teacher-led prayer in public schools.
Religion (Keeping God in Public Sphere) PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsJudeo-Christian values are American values. Belief in God is what America was founded upon, so tax-funding religious organizations, or praying in school, does not violate the separation of church and state. Displaying the Ten Commandments is appropriate because they are the moral basis for Western law. The Pledge of Allegiance should continue to include the phrase "Under God."
FavorsWe need to teach values in our schools and account for our religious values in providing social services. The more our children are exposed to prayer, the Ten Commandments, and other traditional values, the better off they are.
OpposesFaith-based organizations and prayer in schools are inappropriate because they fail to recognize American pluralism and religious diversity.
Strongly OpposesSeparation of church and state precludes allowing school prayer, or providing funding for religious organizations. It also precludes other aspects of religion in government buildings, such as posting the Ten Commandments in public places. We should not violate the Constitutional principle in this case.
Jeb BushOpposes less environmental regulation.
Ben CarsonFavors less environmental regulation.
Chris ChristieFavors less environmental regulation.
Hillary ClintonStrongly opposes less environmental regulation.
Ted CruzFavors less environmental regulation.
Carly FiorinaFavors less environmental regulation.
Rand PaulStrongly favors less environmental regulation.
Marco RubioStrongly favors less environmental regulation.
Bernie SandersStrongly supports more environment regulation.
Donald TrumpStrongly favors less environmental regulation.
Roseanne BarrCorporations befoul our food and water supply.

Domestic Issues

Crime (Criminal Sentencing), Guns, Healthcare/ObamaCare, School Vouchers, Energy, Drugs
CandidatePositionWhat the Candidate Has Said
Jeb BushStrongly favors stricter criminal sentencing. Stricter penalties for drug, sex, & gun offenses. Supports death penalty.
Ben CarsonOpposes stricter criminal sentencing. Develop inner city resources to build alternatives to crime. Equip police with body cameras to avoid abusiveness.
Chris ChristieFavors stricter criminal sentencing. Bail reform: Keep dangerous criminals in jail until trial. Police officers are afraid to enforce the law.
Hillary ClintonOpposes stricter criminal sentencing. Address the unacceptable increase in incarceration. Get body cameras on police; tackle mass incarceration. Give kids after-school activities to prevent gangs. Reduce recidivism by giving offenders a Second Chance.
Ted CruzStrongly favors stricter criminal sentencing. Supports the death penalty. Fully monitor sexual predators & bring them to justice.
Carly FiorinaStrongly favors stricter criminal sentencing. Supports capital punishment for certain crimes
Rand PaulStrongly opposes stricter criminal sentencing. REDEEM Act: seal non-violent criminal records to allow jobs. Justice cannot occur without a trial, especially minorities. Drones have executed people wrongfully, like death penalty.
Marco RubioStrongly favors stricter criminal sentencing. Endless death row appeals hinder justice. Mandatory life sentence for repeat sex offenders.
Bernie SandersStrongly opposes stricter criminal sentencing. Judicial discretion should not be diminished by formulaic sentencing like 'Three Strikes.' Let judges and juries decide what penalties to apply in each case. The death penalty should be abolished as "cruel and unusual punishment".
Donald TrumpStrongly favors stricter criminal sentencing. Black lives matter, but we need strong police presence. Capital punishment isn’t uncivilized; murderers living is.
Roseanne BarrPrison-military-industrial complex uses slave labor.
Crime PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsThree Strikes' laws put dangerous repeat offenders where they belong - behind bars, for life. And the Death Penalty gets rid of them once and for all. Mandatory sentencing and strict enforcement make sure that judges don't let off criminals too easily.
FavorsKeep death penalty and 'Three Strikes' laws on the books because they seem to be effective, but consider ways to deal with special circumstances so we can avoid horror stories of inappropriate imprisonment.
OpposesStrict enforcement of pre-determined sentencing threatens civil rights and should be used cautiously. Police, courts and prisons should focus on effective enforcement rather than strict enforcement. The death penalty should be used with extreme caution, if at all.
Strongly OpposesJudicial discretion should not be diminished by formulaic sentencing like 'Three Strikes.' Let judges and juries decide what penalties to apply in each case. The death penalty should be abolished as "cruel and unusual punishment".
Jeb BushFavors gun rights. Concealed carry OK; supports instant background check. Reduce gun violence and protect 2nd Amendment. Signed first-in-the-nation Stand-Your-Ground law.
Ben CarsonStrongly favors gun rights. 2nd amendment critical in guarding against tyranny. Law-abiding citizens have right to guns without registration. No limits to gun ownership, except in cases of insanity. Semi-automatic weapons ok in countryside, but not cities.
Chris ChristieLimited gun rights. Favors gun control measures from law-enforcement perspective. Gun laws ineffective; focus on mental health. Gun restrictions based on terror watch lists is a state issue. We already have too many firearms in our community.
Hillary ClintonStrongly opposes gun rights. Background check system could prevent Virginia Tech massacre. Get assault weapons & guns off the street. Get weapons off the streets; zero tolerance for weapons. Gun control advocates see Clinton as an ally.
Ted CruzStrongly favors gun rights. 2nd Amendment is ultimate check against government tyranny. NO on banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets.
Carly FiorinaStrongly favors gun rights. Let people on no-fly list purchase guns; it's poorly managed. Strong supporter of Second Amendment gun rights.
Rand PaulStrongly favors gun rights. NO on banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets. Oppose laws which would limit the right to gun ownership.
Marco RubioStrongly favors gun rights. 2nd Amendment is a cornerstone of our democracy. Deal with gun violence, but do it constitutionally.
Bernie SandersOpposes gun rights. YES on prohibiting suing gunmakers & sellers for gun misuse. YES on banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets.
Donald TrumpStrongly favors gun rights. A very strong person on the Second Amendment. Dems and Reps are both wrong on guns. Gun ownership makes US safer, not more dangerous. Gun violence is inevitable; regulations won't help.
Roseanne BarrStrongly favors gun rights. Supports absolute right to gun ownership.
Gun PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsThe right to bear arms is a basic Constitutional right and expresses the democratic principle of self-defense against tyrannical government. Leave gun rights as they are.
FavorsIt's not the instrument, it's the morality. Gun ownership should not be restricted - most gun owners use them safely and responsibly. To reduce gun-related crimes, address the moral problems of society and other issues.
OpposesThe only "gun right" is to self-defense against criminals and the right to a secure home and a secure person. Tighten registration rules and keep guns away from kids.
Strongly OpposesMore guns mean more killing. Limit availability of guns by whatever means are effective. The 2nd amendment does not mean an unlimited right to any and all firearms.
Jeb BushOpposes ObamaCare. ObamaCare is focused on access; should be focused on quality. Compromised on limiting medical malpractice awards.
Ben CarsonOpposes ObamaCare. Obamacare is about restriction and control. ObamaCare robs you of your ability to control your own life. Free medical care to fix primary care deficit.
Chris ChristieOpposes ObamaCare.Opposes ObamaCare.
Hillary ClintonStrongly favors ObamaCare. Strongly favors ObamaCare.
Ted CruzStrongly Opposes ObamaCareStrongly Opposes ObamaCare
Carly FiorinaStrongly Opposes ObamaCareStrongly Opposes ObamaCare
Rand PaulStrongly Opposes ObamaCareStrongly Opposes ObamaCare
Marco RubioOpposes ObamaCare.Opposes ObamaCare.
Bernie SandersStrongly favors ObamaCare and its expansion. Too few Americans have adequate health insurance. The government should make funds available for more complete coverage, or should expand existing government-run coverage to all citizens. A single-payer system would solve most healthcare problems.
Donald TrumpStrongly Opposes ObamaCareStrongly Opposes ObamaCare
Roseanne BarrMore federal funding for health coverage.
Healthcare/ObamaCare PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsToo few Americans have adequate health insurance. The government should make funds available for more complete coverage, or should expand existing government-run coverage to all citizens. A single-payer system would solve most healthcare problems.
FavorsThe government should provide coverage or subsidize health insurance for at-risk groups such as children and the elderly. Society benefits when more people are covered. Universal health insurance is a good goal, although some market methods can work as well as government systems.
OpposesWhile more thorough health coverage is a noble idea, further health coverage should be promoted through non-government means.
Strongly OpposesNationalized health care would entail a government takeover of a large portion of the economy and undue intrusions into our personal medical histories. Remove the federal government from the health care industry.
Jeb BushStrongly favors school vouchers.
Ben CarsonStrongly favors school vouchers.
Chris ChristieStrongly favors school vouchers.
Hillary ClintonStrongly opposes school vouchers.
Ted CruzStrongly favors school vouchers.
Carly FiorinaStrongly favors school vouchers.
Rand PaulStrongly favors school vouchers.
Marco RubioStrongly favors school vouchers.
Bernie SandersStrongly opposes school vouchers.
Donald TrumpStrongly favors school vouchers.
Roseanne BarrSupports parents choosing schools via vouchers.
School Vouchers PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsThe government should not be in the business of running schools. State-funded vouchers should pay for privately-run education at private schools, parochial schools, charter schools, home-schooling, or whatever schools parents choose. Bush's "No Child Left Behind" act sets the stage for terminating failing schools.
FavorsSchool choice helps the poor who would otherwise be stuck in failing schools. Why should only the elite be able to afford private school? Subsidize parents' school choices to foster equality, as long as the school respects separation of church and state, and meets basic state standards. Charter schools are a good compromise.
OpposesContinue experimenting with charter schools, and with public school choice, but only as a limited experiment, and no vouchers. We should create pressure to improve our public schools, not abandon them. Bush's "No Child Left Behind" act is an unfunded mandate.
Strongly OpposesPublic schools are an important component of American society. Improve public schools rather than destroying them with vouchers. More teachers, smaller classes, more funding - then parents will choose public schools.
Jeb BushOpposes green energy. Opposes green energy.
Ben CarsonOpposes green energy. Climate debate is distracting and irrelevant. Petroleum independence would deprive terrorists of funding.
Chris ChristieFavors green energy.
Hillary ClintonStrongly favors green energy.
Ted CruzStrongly opposes green energy.
Carly FiorinaOpposes green energy. Pass the Keystone Pipeline even if Obama vetoes it. Supports renewable energy tax credits.
Rand PaulStrongly opposes green energy.
Marco RubioOpposes green energy.
Bernie SandersStrongly favors green energy.
Donald TrumpStrongly opposes green energy.
Roseanne BarrReplace coal & oil with alternatives.
Energy PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsOveruse of fossil fuels causes serious problems that we should deal with immediately by raising carbon taxes, raising CAFE standards, federally funding research into alternative and sustainable energy resources, and push to implement the Kyoto Protocol.
FavorsWe should establish a market-based solution for excess carbon emissions, and the problem will be solved. The Kyoto Protocol should require developing countries' participation to make the solution work.
OpposesThe cost of dealing with global warming is far higher than the potential damage, so we should do nothing. There's some evidence for global warming, but the effects are not certain. We should perhaps sign on to some international agreements, but make only minimal financial commitments for now.
Strongly OpposesThere's no such thing as global warming - it's all natural climatic variation. And if there is a problem, it won't affect us much, and we can deal with the problems as they arise.
Jeb BushStrongly favors stricter drug laws and believes marijuana is a gateway drug.
Ben CarsonStrongly favors stricter drug laws and believes marijuana is a gateway drug.Strongly favors stricter drug laws and believes marijuana is a gateway drug.
Chris ChristieOpposes stricter drug laws and disagrees marijuana is a gateway drug. Opposes stricter drug laws and disagrees marijuana is a gateway drug.
Hillary ClintonOpposes stricter drug laws and disagrees marijuana is a gateway drug.Opposes stricter drug laws and disagrees marijuana is a gateway drug.
Ted CruzOpposes stricter drug laws and disagrees marijuana is a gateway drug. Does not support the legalization of marijuana.
Carly FiorinaOpposes stricter drug laws and no opinion if marijuana is a gateway drug. Believes legalization of marijuana should be left to states.
Rand PaulStrongly opposes stricter drug laws and strongly disagrees marijuana is a gateway drug.
Marco RubioStrongly favors stricter drug laws and believes marijuana is a gateway drug.
Bernie SandersStrongly opposes stricter drug laws.
Donald TrumpNeutral on drug laws. Yes to medical marijuana; otherwise, decide by state
Roseanne BarrRe-write drug laws to be sane and people based.
Drug PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsDrug use is immoral and drugs poison our youth and our society. We should fight the Drug War using all reasonable means - Just Say No!
FavorsThe Drug War is winnable if we invest enough resources. We should do whatever we have to do: More police, more border patrols, more intervention abroad, more prison terms, more prisons.
OpposesWe should have regulated decriminalization. Medical marijuana might be legalized, for example, as might clean hypodermic needles. Our drug policy should be reformed, with less criminal penalties and more drug abuse clinics.
Strongly OpposesThe Drug War should be ended. It has failed, condemning a 'Lost Generation' of blacks and Hispanics to prison and criminal records. End it now like we ended alcohol Prohibition, and organized crime and drug-related crime will decrease like it did when Prohibition ended.

Economic Issues

Stimulus, Taxes, Immigration, Social Security
CandidatePositionWhat the Candidate Has Said
Jeb BushStrongly opposes stimulus policies and thinks a market-led recovery is best.
Ben CarsonStrongly opposes stimulus policies and thinks a market-led recovery is best.
Chris ChristieStrongly opposes stimulus policies and thinks a market-led recovery is best.
Hillary ClintonStrongly favors stimulus policies and thinks stimulus is better than market-led recovery.
Ted CruzStrongly opposes stimulus policies and thinks a market-led recovery is best.
Carly FiorinaStrongly opposes stimulus policies and thinks a market-led recovery is best.
Rand PaulOpposes stimulus policies and thinks a market-led recovery is best.
Marco RubioStrongly opposes stimulus policies and thinks a market-led recovery is best.
Bernie SandersStrongly favors stimulus policies and believes stimulus is better than a market-led recovery.
Donald TrumpStrongly opposes stimulus policies and thinks a market-led recovery is best.
Roseanne BarrFederal Reserve stole our money and our future.
Stimulus PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsThe federal government should inject as much funding as needed to recuperate from the Great Recession, including direct federal job creation. Nationalization of banks and companies is more appropriate than bailouts.
FavorsThe federal government should institute incentives for private corporations for more hiring, to recuperate from the Great Recession. Funding to "bail out" private companies should be accompanied by rules for corporate behavior and repayment.
OpposesCutting taxes and reducing regulation is the means to recuperate from the Great Recession.
Strongly OpposesThe federal government caused the Great Recession, and keeping out of the economy will end it.
Jeb BushStrongly opposes higher taxes, including on the wealthy.
Ben CarsonStrongly opposes higher taxes, including on the wealthy.
Chris ChristieStrongly opposes higher taxes, including on the wealthy.
Hillary ClintonStrongly favors higher taxes, including on the wealthy.
Ted CruzStrongly opposes higher taxes, including on the wealthy.
Carly FiorinaStrongly opposes higher taxes, including on the wealthy.
Rand PaulStrongly opposes higher taxes, including on the wealthy.
Marco RubioStrongly opposes higher taxes, including on the wealthy.
Bernie SandersStrongly favors higher taxes, including on the wealthy.
Donald TrumpFavor higher taxes for wealthy. End corporate taxes. Lower individual rates. Consider a one-time tax on the wealthy to pay down the debt.
Roseanne Barr48% tax on high income earners is fair.
Tax PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsA progressive income tax is one of the cornerstones of modern society. Its premise is that the wealthy contribute proportionally more than those with lower incomes. That is the right way to run our tax system, and we should keep it that way.
FavorsFlatter taxes benefit the wealthy more than the lower and middle class. We should focus tax relief on the majority of taxpayers instead of on the richest few percent, while preserving important deductions like mortgage interest and charitable donations.
OpposesA Flat Tax would simplify the entire tax system. It would get rid of loopholes that drive tax-avoiding behaviors. And it would remove most deductions and the special interests that come with them. In the meantime, tax cuts benefit the economy in both good economic times and bad economic times.
Strongly OpposesIdeally, the income tax and the IRS should be abolished. Perhaps a national sales tax, like the FairTax, is a good replacement. Lower and flatter taxes are a good first step.
Jeb BushFavors immigration reform. Create a legal status, not a path to citizenship, for undocumented residents. Limit family-related legal immigration.
Ben CarsonOpposes immigration reform. Allow undocumented residents access to a national guest worker program if they leave the country first.
Chris ChristieFavors immigration reform.I've never been opposed to tuition equality for illegals
Hillary ClintonFavors immigration reform.
Ted CruzStrongly Opposes immigration reform. End Obama's illegal amnesty via Congress' checks & balances.
Carly FiorinaElements of both. No comprehensive reform; but yes to DREAM Act. Opposes granting amnesty to illegal immigrants.
Rand PaulFavors immigration reform. Legal status, but not citizenship, for illegal immigrants. See immigrants as assets, not liabilities. We will find a place for illegal immigrants in America.
Marco RubioElements of both. GOP DREAM Act: visas for going to college or military. Green cards after 10 years; secure border; & e-Verify. Legal status, but not citizenship, to migrant's children. No amnesty in any form, not even back-of-the-line.
Bernie SandersStrongly favors immigration reform.
Donald TrumpStrongly opposes immigration reform.
Roseanne BarrSupports illegal immigrants earning citizenship.
Immigration PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsImmigration restrictions are basically racist because they keep out Hispanics and other non-whites. We should reform US immigration laws and use them to increase our diversity and cultural tolerance. Social services should be offered to all residents of the United States regardless of immigration status. Illegal aliens should be offered amnesty if they prove themselves as productive members of society.
FavorsThe government should make few restrictions on immigration. If the number of immigrants is too high, establish an immigration fee and raise it until the number of immigrants is acceptable. Or change the immigration quotas by some other method.
OpposesMaintain legal immigration while enforcing against illegal immigration. Tighten our borders - decrease substantially or stop all immigration so we can address domestic problems.
Strongly OpposesWe should strictly enforce our immigration laws by increasing border patrols, and we should crack down on illegal immigrants already in the US by deportation and by removing all their social benefits. In the long run, we should decrease immigration.
Jeb BushFavors privatizing Social Security.
Ben CarsonStrongly favors privatizing Social Security.
Chris ChristieFavors privatizing Social Security – but do away with it for wealthy.
Hillary ClintonStrongly opposes privatizing Social Security.
Ted CruzStrongly favors privatizing Social Security.
Carly FiorinaFavors privatizing Social Security.
Rand PaulFavors privatizing Social Security.
Marco RubioOpposes privatizing Social Security.
Bernie SandersStrongly opposes privatizing Social Security.
Donald TrumpElements of both. Let people invest their own retirement funds. Social Security isn't an "entitlement"; it's honoring a deal. Cannot change Medicare or Soc.Sec. and still win elections.
Roseanne BarrOppose privatizing Social Security.
Social Security PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsOur retirement funds should not be entrusted to the government. The entire Social Security system should be run instead as we currently run IRAs, Keogh plans, 401(k)'s, and other private pension plans.
FavorsThe Trust Fund might be invested in the stock market or via some other private investment vehicle. Individuals should be given at least some control over how their retirement funds are invested.
OpposesSocial Security should remain under federal control, but you want reforms on how the Trust Fund is handled. In particular, the 'Lockbox Bill' is a good first reform, since it keeps the system secure while avoiding privatization.
Strongly OpposesSocial Security should remain forever under federal control to ensure that all Americans have a secure retirement. The Trust Fund should not be invested in anything like the stock market, since that would introduce undue risk.

Defense & International Issues

Free Trade, Military, American Exceptionalism
CandidatePositionWhat the Candidate Has Said
Jeb BushFavors free trade.
Ben CarsonOpposes free trade. Stop severe trade imbalance via stiff tariffs.
Chris ChristieNeutral. Supports free trade, but distrusts Obama's TPP agreement. Trade mission to Mexico doubles as foreign policy tour.
Hillary ClintonElements of both. Chief advocate for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Global trading system isn't up to standards of fairness. I absorbed new info and changed my mind to oppose TPP.
Ted CruzStrongly favors free trade. Defended Chinese company on intellectual property theft.
Carly FiorinaOpposes free trade. Change rules about outsourcing; current climate forces it.
Rand PaulStrongly favors free trade. China trade improves economy AND makes fight less likely.
Marco RubioStrongly favors free trade. Continue reducing barriers to free and fair trade.
Bernie SandersStrongly opposes free trade.
Donald TrumpElements of both. Embrace globalization and international markets. Foreign companies are taking jobs from US.
Roseanne BarrOpposes expanding free trade.
Trade PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsFree trade is always in the people's interest. We should have open trade with every country in the world. The government has no right to make restrictions on imports or exports. NAFTA, GATT, and the WTO should be expanded and made less restrictive over time. Globalization is good.
FavorsFree trade is in our national interest because it provides economic growth and jobs. We should only restrict free trade when it poses a security risk. Including environmental and labor safeguards are acceptable if they can be successfully negotiated into trade agreements, but should not be used as a pretext to stop trade agreements.
OpposesFree trade should be replaced by fair trade. Free trade is not in our national interest when it poses a risk to job security, causes humanitarian problems overseas, or results in environmental damage. Globalization should focus on benefiting people instead of benefiting multinational corporations.
Strongly OpposesAmericans should buy from other Americans because that creates American jobs. We should restrict trade with any country which costs us jobs or which creates a trade deficit. Globalization is just another means of corporate influence over our society.
Jeb BushStrongly favors robust military.
Ben CarsonStrongly favors robust military.
Chris ChristieStrongly favors robust military.
Hillary ClintonOpposes robust military. Balance lower military & higher diplomacy budget.
Ted CruzStrongly favors robust military.
Carly FiorinaStrongly favors robust military.
Rand PaulSomewhat favors robust military. National defense is important, but no blank check. Put defense spending on the table for reducing budget.
Marco RubioStrongly favors robust military.
Bernie SandersOpposes robust military. Rated 100% by SANE, indicating a pro-peace voting record. NO on emergency $78B for war in Iraq & Afghanistan. NO on continuing military recruitment on college campuses. NO on $266 billion Defense Appropriations bill.
Donald TrumpStrongly favors robust military.
Roseanne BarrUS out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Military PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsWe have an obligation as the leaders of the world to maintain a strong military. And we have an obligation to our service personnel to pay them adequately.
FavorsWe should consider carefully before making more cuts - for example, base closings have hurt local economies, and reducing military personnel has put pressure on employment.
OpposesBuild smart, not necessarily big. Money is often better spent on issues other than defense. We should cut back on troops stationed abroad and focus on quality of our troops instead of quantity.
Strongly OpposesDefense spending includes huge amounts of pork-barrel spending and should be reduced dramatically. We should change our Defense policy to one of defense, instead of one where we police the world. Pull US troops out of Europe, Japan, Korea, and elsewhere. We are wrong to have a military that is as large as the rest of the world combined.
Jeb BushElements of both. We are leader among equals in community of nations. Supports economic cooperation between US and China.
Ben CarsonStrongly favors American exceptionalism.
Chris ChristieStrongly favors American exceptionalism.
Hillary ClintonOpposes American exceptionalism.
Ted CruzStrongly favors American exceptionalism.
Carly FiorinaFavors American exceptionalism.
Rand PaulElements of both. No isolationism; but don't go abroad seeking enemies. Oppose the United Nations' Arms Trade Treaty.
Marco RubioFavors American exceptionalism.
Bernie SandersStrongly opposes American exceptionalism.
Donald TrumpStrongly favors American exceptionalism.
Roseanne BarrWe do need a little bit more socialism in America.
American Exceptionalism PositionBelief
Strongly FavorsThe United Nations has too much power; the U.S. should withdraw, or restrict their actions. The same applies to other international institutions.
FavorsUnited States military forces should never serve under other countries' commands; but multinational forces are acceptable under U.S. command. In general, the U.S. should consider her own national interests first, and then act with other nations in accordance with those interests.
OpposesWe can best advance U.S. interests by building alliances and working with other countries on mutual interests. Multilateralism is more effective than unilateralism.
Strongly OpposesThe U.S. is just one country among hundreds; we are an important country but the opinions of others count too. We should not throw our weight around, but should use "soft power" and seek other non-military solutions.

Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy, Israel & Iran, ISIS & Iraq
CandidatePositionWhat the Candidate Has Said
Jeb BushOpposes noninterventionist foreign policy.
Ben CarsonOpposes noninterventionist foreign policy.
Chris ChristieOpposes noninterventionist foreign policy.
Hillary ClintonOpposes noninterventionist foreign policy.
Ted CruzStrongly opposes noninterventionist foreign policy.
Carly FiorinaStrongly opposes noninterventionist foreign policy.
Rand PaulStrongly favors noninterventionist foreign policy.
Marco RubioStrongly opposes noninterventionist foreign policy.
Bernie SandersStrongly favors noninterventionist foreign policy.
Donald TrumpElements of both. Support Israel, our unsinkable Mideast aircraft carrier. Support Russia, but with strings attached. Opposed Iraq war in 2004 & predicted Mideast destabilization. No humanitarian intervention; only to direct threats. Iraq should pick up the tab for their own liberation.
Roseanne BarrOpposes expanding the armed forces.
Jeb BushPro-Israel. No deal with Iran.Cancel any nuclear deal President Obama reaches with Iran. Strengthen ties with Israel.
Ben CarsonSupports Israel. Possible deal with Iran. Congress must be involved in Iran deal. U.S. should listen to and consider Netanyahu’s words.
Chris ChristiePro-Israel. No deal with Iran.End current negotiations with Iran. Strengthen ties with Israel.
Hillary ClintonPro-Palestinian. Nuclear deal with Iran. Work toward a two-state solution. Do not necessarily freeze settlement building. Support framework for nuclear deal. Continue diplomacy efforts and some sanctions.
Ted CruzPro-Israel. No deal with Iran.Strong support for Israel. Increase and toughen sanctions. End current nuclear talks until Congress approves the outlines of a deal.
Carly FiorinaPro-Israel. Possible deal with Iran.Support Israel by breaking off nuclear talks. Verify actions before Iran sanctions are lifted.
Rand PaulPro-Israel, for now. Diplomacy with Iran. Supports aid to Israel but thinks it would be best to phase it out. Sanctions for Iran and diplomacy first.
Marco RubioNo Iran deal. Toughen sanctions. Scrap proposed nuclear deal.
Bernie SandersPro-Palestinian. Nuclear deal with Iran. Supports current talks with Iran. Critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Donald TrumpPro-Israel. No deal with Iran.Calls for closer alliance with Israel. Walk away from nuclear talks. Increase sanctions.
Roseanne Barr"Pro-Israel." Pro-Palestinian. Supports deal with Iran. Pro-Israel but anti Israel's right wing government. Self-determination and right of return for Palestinians. Stop the endless clamoring for war with Iran.
Jeb BushEmbed U.S. trainers with Iraqi troops. No decision yet on whether to send more ground troops. Build new U.S. base in Anbar province.
Ben CarsonThe U.S. should step up its efforts to destroy the Islamic State militant group. Do not “tie” the military’s hands.
Chris ChristieWilling to send U.S. troops. Invading Iraq was a mistake.
Hillary ClintonNo boots on the ground. Use regional troops.
Ted CruzDon’t send U.S. ground troops, yet.
Carly FiorinaArm the Kurds.
Rand PaulArm the Kurds, declare war. Limited troops.
Marco RubioIncrease the president’s power to combat.
Bernie SandersOpposed the Iraq war. Calls for troop withdrawal as soon as possible.
Donald TrumpSend a limited number of combat troops on the ground.
Roseanne BarrNo data

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3 thoughts on “Presidential Candidates: Where Do They Stand, Where Do You Stand?

  1. Awesome breakdown! I’ve been having so much fun watching all the debates for this election. Ted Cruz is my guy! For me, Ted Cruz takes the right (no pun intended) stance on all of the issues. He is also a great speaker and leader with great experience for the job! I’m hoping he wins it! Thank you for putting this together. I hope it encourages others to do their research and make an informed vote. Our nation is in need of a strong leader…so make sure ya’ll make a wise decision this year! : )

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