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Democratic Candidates in the U.S. Senate Primary Race

A look at the Democratic party's U.S. Senate hopefuls on the issues.

The winner of this June 12 Primary Election will go on to face the winner of the Republican primary and the lone, unenrolled qualifying candidate, Angus King (I).


  Would reform and simplify the tax code to assure that corporations and the wealthy "pay their fair share." Would "reprioritize" spending for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and place controls on Wall Street to prevent future financial collapse. Supports free trade, but thinks some protections need to be in place to guard against issues such as currency manipulation by trading partners. Thinks trade agreements should maximize benefits for Americans. Thinks Congress has a role to play in stimulating economy through financial policies. Thinks the federal government should set framework for private sector to operate effectively. Supports stimulating and improving economy through government-supported infrastructure projects. Supports investment in education, job training and public works, infrastructure and broadband. Also believes in expanded opportunities for military service of at least two years. Believes that government should eliminate overly cumbersome regulations.  
  Believes Congress could do more to encourage conservation, and renewable energy solutions. Opposes subsidies for oil companies. Opposes Keystone pipeline project, but supports offshore oil drilling in current locations. Would consider nuclear power as a future source, but only if environmental safety and waste storage issues are assured. Thinks the Northeast is too dependent on oil, and supports transitioning to natural gas and alternative energy, but believes big gains can be made by increasing energy efficiency. Doesn't support nuclear power--thinks it's too expensive and there's no way to safely dispose of nuclear waste. Opposes offshore oil drilling, and is against the Keystone pipeline. Supports short-term tax incentives for alternative energy, but not long-term subsidies. Opposes tax subsidies for oil industry. Thinks improving efficiency will reduce the need for energy. Supports domestic oil drilling as a last resort and some offshore drilling to create a reserve pool. Opposes Keystone pipeline. Has deep reservations about nuclear power and the costs and the waste it creates, which he says will be passed on to future generations. Opposed to Keystone pipeline, and most, if not all, offshore drilling. Opposed to fracking. Opposed to nuclear power. Supports shift away from fossil fuels and move toward conservation, solar, wind and other "renewables."  
  Supports Affordable Care Act. Quote: "Its not perfect, but it clearly has done much good so far, and I just don't see an alternative that is really to help people." Doesn't believe current fee-for-service model is workable. Would support pilot program of single-payer system to test as an alternative model. Supports the Affordable Care Act, and thinks more legislation will be needed to solve the nation's health care issues. Supports providing people with greater access to preventive care and screenings. Support the Affordable Care Act, but thinks it was watered down in Congress. Would support exploring a universal single-payer health care system. Affordable Care Act is too complicated, and questions constitutionality of "individual mandate" provision. Believes all individuals around the world should have access to health care, but should also share some of the responsibility for their own health. Would consider "single-payer" option.  
  Political Gridlock  
  Doesn't agree with Snowe that both parties have contributed to problems in Washington, and thinks that the real culprit is a dysfunctional Republican Party. Quote: "The answer is for Republicans to find themselves, and figure out how they're going to work with Democrats." Believes Democrats should stick to core values and "gather enough votes to push policies through that help working families." Supports modifying rules around filibuster and cloture. Thinks landmark legislation of the past--such as the Clean Air Act--would not be possible in today's polarized Congress. Thinks "powerful entities" have gained control over the political process and that "the deck is stacked against the average person." Believes "a certain degree" of civility has been lost in the Senate, and that partisan gridlock is being driven by "well-funded special interests." Thinks most senators, including Sen. Snowe, are unwilling to work across party lines and vote their consciences, and believes that's interfering with the Senate's ability to create effective legislation to govern the nation.   
  Social Issues  
  Supports Roe v. Wade, and same-sex marriage. Supports Roe v. Wade, and same-sex marriage. Supports Roe v. Wade. Supports same-sex marriage. Supports Roe v. Wade. Supports same-sex marriage:  "Same-sex couples should be entitled to the legal rights and responsibilities that go along with being married."  
  Social Security  
  Believes that Social Security is important and must be saved, by taking a hard look at raising caps on income, and raising the retirement age. Quote: "There are plenty of seniors I know that want to work past the age of 65 or 67 and have the capacity to, and should be able to." Said government must also stop raiding Social Security Trust Fund. Believes the Social Security trust fund should be off limits to funding other things, such as the war in Iraq. Believes the system should be sustained, and supports removing the cap on earnings subject to social security taxes. Has reservations about raising the retirement age because it would penalize those who are unable to work beyond the age of 66. Does not believe Congress has the moral right to "shake" and take away the Social Security system. Is highly skeptical about privatizing proposals, but would evaluate those that might come forth. Would consider means testing, provided it doesn't erode broad-based support for the system. Supports the idea of individuals taking responsibility for their own retirement, and would consider removal of wealthy recipients from system. "Anywhere that we have Americans who are not in need of government support, that's a good place to look at cutting government spending."  
  Supports a measure that would have imposed a surcharge on taxpayers earning more than $1 million in adjusted gross income, claiming it would raise taxes on only a handful of Mainers while reducing taxes for most.  Believes the bill would also create 2 million new jobs nationwide.  Supports the Buffett rule "to bring the super-rich in line with average taxpayers."
Doesn't see evidence that the Bush tax cuts have helped create jobs. Thinks wealthy are not paying their fair share and asserts that the top nominal rate for federal income taxes has dropped 50 percent since 1980. Supports a tier system on capital gains taxes, to ensure that family farmers and small business owners are not penalized. Supports the Buffett rule--thinks the wealthy should be paying at least the same tax rates as ordinary working people. Thinks the federal tax code should be "dramatically simplified" and that most deductions and loopholes should be eliminated. Supports using the tax code to "'internalize' the 'external' costs of certain types of consumption and production," such as a tax on carbon dioxide emissions to encourage energy efficiency and a transition to cleaner, renewable energy sources.  
  Should not have gone to Iraq, a war based on a false premise of weapons of mass destruction. Afghanistan is a home to terrorists, and while U.S. troops should be sent home soon, our engagement in Afghanistan is "not as irresponsible" as it was in Iraq. Thinks Iraq war was "poorly thought out" and "enormously expensive," and believes we went there on a false premise. Thinks the Taliban's support for al Qaeda justified our response in Afghanistan, but believes the war is unsustainable at this point. Thinks the Iraq war was a mistake, and that Afghanistan "has not turned out well" and has gone on too long. Thinks the U.S. should have quickly finished up the hunt for al Qaeda operatives and provided the Afghans with some infrastructure and then left. Supports reasons for going into Afghanistan, including regime change, but said occupation has not been well-handled. Believes President Obama erred by publicly ordering a withdrawal timetable.  




Go to the MPBN Candidate Debate Schedule 

Republican 2nd Congressional District Candidates 

Republican 1st Congressional District Candidates 

Republican U.S. Senate Candidates 

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