Katie McGinty vs. Patrick Toomey: Nonpartisan Candidate Guide for 2016 Pennsylvania Senate Race

Are you looking for a nonpartisan voter guide for the Katie McGinty vs. Patrick Toomey 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 Katie McGinty and Patrick Toomey. 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.

__________

Abortion: Should abortion be highly restricted?

McGinty: No

Toomey: Yes

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

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: No

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

McGinty: No. Supports constitutional amendment to overturn.

Toomey: Yes

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

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: No

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

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: No

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

McGinty: No

Toomey: Yes. Viewed Supreme Court decision to allow this as “great news.”

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

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: No

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

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: No

Gay Marriage: Support gay marriage?

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: No

Gun Control: Support more restrictive gun control legislation?

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: Yes. Selective support of greater restrictions.[1]

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

McGinty: No. Helped expand state Medicaid coverage under Affordable Care Act.

Toomey: Yes

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

McGinty: No. Implied in other statements & positions.

Toomey: Yes. Raised some questions about shutdown but voted for it.

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

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: No

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

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: Opposed Obama’s Executive Order giving legal status.

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

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: No

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

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: No

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

McGinty: No. Prefers a focus on other options that could prevent the need for ground troops.

Toomey: No. Supports air strikes and arming local forces.

Marijuana: Decriminalize and/or legalize marijuana?

McGinty: Yes. Supports medical marijuana legalization and recreational decriminalization.

Toomey: History of opposition, but openness beginning in 2015 to medical marijuana research.

Minimum Wage: Raise the federal minimum wage?

McGinty: Yes. Supports $15 per hour.

Toomey: No. Believes it will eliminate a lot of jobs.

Prisons: Switch money from prisons to preventive measures like education and social services?

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: Currently unclear. Clearly opposed 15 years ago.

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

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: No

Social Security: Support full or partial Social Security privatization?

McGinty: No

Toomey: Yes

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

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: No

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

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: No. Voted against restoring proposed cuts.

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

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: No. Pledged to keep seat open until after 2016 election.

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

McGinty: No

Toomey: Yes

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

McGinty: Yes

Toomey: No

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

McGinty: No. Supports extending early voting days and eliminating voter ID laws.

Toomey: Yes. Defended PA voter ID law that was later struck down by a court, arguing that requirements were minimal.[3]

_______________

Other senate candidates include Everett Stern (I). Due to limited space, we can’t include his positions, but invite you to check out his website.

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.

_______________

[1] History of high ratings from gun rights groups and opposition to gun control efforts. Since Sandy Hook, has supported expanding background checks and preventing those on terrorist watch list from purchasing guns.

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

[3] Stated that PA’s voter ID law had easy-to-meet requirements that protected the integrity of the system. Opponents argued that the law disenfranchised large numbers of otherwise eligible voters.

CONVERSATIONS