Joe Heck vs. Catherine Cortez Masto: Nonpartisan Candidate Guide For 2016 Nevada Senate Race

Are you looking for a nonpartisan voter guide for the Joe Heck vs. Catherine Cortez Masto Senate race? One that will give you an accurate, no-spin comparison of the candidates’ positions on key issues? Our Campus Election Engagement Project is a national nonpartisan initiative working to increase student electoral participation. At the request of the schools we work with, we’ve created concise nonpartisan candidate guides for the presidential race, for the importance of the 2016 election on future Supreme Court decisions, and for 20 Senate and Governor’s races, including this Senate race. Our lead researcher spent 19 years as a senior editor at Encyclopedia Britannica, and we invite readers to share this and our other guides as widely as possible

So here are the issue-by-issue stands for Tammy Duckworth and Mark Kirk. Visit our Nonpartisan Candidate Guides home page to find links to all our other guides, with most available in both online/mobile friendly and printable PDF formats.

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Abortion: Should abortion be highly restricted?

Heck: Yes

Cortez Masto: No

Campaign Finance: Do you support the DISCLOSE Act, which requires key funders of political ads to put their names on those ads?

Heck: No

Cortez Masto: Yes

Campaign Finance: Support Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allows unlimited independent political expenditures by corporations and unions?

Heck: Yes

Cortez Masto: No

Climate Change: Believe that human activity is the major factor driving climate change?

Heck: Won’t answer directly. Voting stands suggest no.[1]

Cortez Masto: Yes

Climate Change: Should government limit the levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere?

Heck: No. Has voted to block greenhouse gas regulation of power plants.

Cortez Masto: Yes

Contraception: Should employers be able to withhold contraceptive coverage from employees if they disagree with it morally?

Heck: Yes

Cortez Masto: No

Economy: Support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?

Heck: No

Cortez Masto: Yes. Implied in issues she raises.

Financial Regulation: Support the Dodd-Frank Act, which established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and increases regulation of Wall Street corporations and financial institutions?

Heck: No

Cortez Masto: Yes

Gay Marriage: Support gay marriage?

Heck: No, but accepts Supreme Court’s decision

Cortez Masto: Yes

Gun Control: Support more restrictive gun control legislation?

Heck: No

Cortez Masto: Yes

Healthcare: Repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare?

Heck: Yes

Cortez Masto: No

Healthcare: Did you support shutting down the federal government in order to defund Obamacare in 2013?

Heck: Yes

Cortez Masto: No

Healthcare: Should Planned Parenthood be eligible to receive public funds for non-abortion health services?

Heck: No

Cortez Masto: Yes

Immigration: Support the DREAM Act, which would allow children brought into the country illegally to achieve legal status if meet certain conditions? [2]

Heck: Opposed DREAM Act but offered similar alternative bill.

Cortez Masto: Yes

Immigration: Should America’s 11 million undocumented residents have an earned path to citizenship?

Heck: Opposes blanket amnesty but open to some earned citizenship proposals.

Cortez Masto: Yes

Iran: Support the US-Iran treaty that limits Iran’s nuclear capability in return for lifting economic sanctions?

Heck: No

Cortez Masto: Yes

Iraq: Should the US recommit significant additional ground troops to Iraq to combat the success of ISIS?

Heck: Ambiguous. Supports embedded advisors and targeters. Wary of unlimited troop increases.

Cortez Masto: No

Marijuana: Decriminalize and/or legalize marijuana?

Heck: Supports medical marijuana. Opposes recreational.

Cortez Masto: Supports medical marijuana. Believes recreational legalization will happen, but is premature until more regulatory infrastructure in place.

Minimum Wage: Raise the federal minimum wage?

Heck: No. Consistent opposition with multiple objections. Current position: leave it “to the localities”

Cortez Masto: Yes

Renewable Energy: Support government mandates and/or subsidies for renewable energy?

Heck: No. Strongly opposes prioritizing green energy.

Cortez Masto: Yes

Social Security: Support full or partial Social Security privatization?

Heck: Yes

Cortez Masto: No

Student Debt: Refinance student loans at lower rates, paid for by increasing taxes on high earners?

Heck: No. Also voted to cut subsidies.

Cortez Masto: Yes

Student Financial Aid: Should federal student financial aid, like Pell Grants, be increased?

Heck: No. Voted for significant cuts to Pell Grants and for a budget plan that would have made 1 million students ineligible.

Cortez Masto: Yes

Supreme Court: Support the Senate holding hearings to consider Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland?

Heck: No [3]

Cortez Masto: Yes

Taxes: Signed Americans for Tax Reform Pledge to oppose “any and all” tax increases to raise revenue?

Heck: Yes

Cortez Masto: No

Taxes: Increase taxes on corporations and/or high-income individuals to pay for public services?

Heck: No

Cortez Masto: Yes

Voting Rights: Support stricter voting rules such as voter ID requirements or reduced registration times, even if they prevent some people from voting?

Heck: Yes

Cortez Masto: No

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Other senate candidates include Tony Gumia (Independent), Tom Jones (Independent American Party), and Jarrod Williams (Independent). Due to limited space, we can’t include their positions, but invite you to check out their websites.

Created by the Campus Election Engagement Project, a non-partisan effort to help college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders engage their schools in the election. Key sites consulted included Votesmart.org, Countable.us, Ballotpedia.org, OntheIssues.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com, and public candidate statements. For a guide to all races, see Vote411.org, from the League of Women Voters, and Ballotready.org.

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[2] Need to have graduated from high school, have a clean legal record, and attend college or serve in the military.

[3] Initially encouraged a hearing but changed his mind, stating that the Senate should spend its time finding common ground on other issues rather than focusing on this deeply divided issue.

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