Rob Portman vs. Ted Strickland: Nonpartisan Candidate Guide For 2016 Ohio Senate Race

Are you looking for a nonpartisan voter guide for the Rob Portman vs. Ted Strickland 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 Rob Portman and Ted Strickland. 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?

Portman: Yes

Strickland: No, but supports some restrictions.

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

Portman: No. Voted against it.

Strickland: Yes

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

Portman: Yes

Strickland: No. Supports constitutional amendment to overturn.

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

Portman: Acknowledges it contributes but won’t identify it as a major factor.[1]

Strickland: Yes. Strong support of climate change initiatives when governor.

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

Portman: No. Voted repeatedly to prohibit EPA regulation of greenhouse gases.

Strickland: Yes

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

Portman: Yes. Filed Amicus brief in support of Hobby Lobby.

Strickland: No

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

Portman: No

Strickland: Yes

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

Portman: No[2]

Strickland: Yes

Gay Marriage: Support gay marriage?

Portman: Historically opposed. Changed to support after son came out as gay.

Strickland: Yes

Gun Control: Support more restrictive gun control legislation?

Portman: No

Strickland: Supports expanded background checks and banning sales to suspected terrorists.[3]

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

Portman: Yes

Strickland: No

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

Portman: Yes. Voted against bills that would have prevented shutdown. Later voted to end shutdown.[4]

Strickland: No

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

Portman: No

Strickland: Yes

Immigration: Support the DREAM Act, which would allow children brought into the country illegally to achieve legal status if meet certain conditions? [5]

Portman: No. Opposes Obama’s Executive Order issued in lieu of DREAM Act.

Strickland: Yes

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

Portman: No. Voted against bi-partisan 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill that would provide this, saying it needed stronger border enforcement provisions. Now says open to earned path to legalization but not citizenship.

Strickland: Yes

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

Portman: No

Strickland: Yes

Iraq: How should the US combat the success of ISIS?

Portman: Special operations and building coalitions. No to major US ground troops.

Strickland: Increased special forces, air strikes, and cyber warfare, but no major ground troop additions.

Marijuana: Decriminalize and/or legalize marijuana?

Portman: No. Focus instead on drug prevention & rehabilitation.

Strickland: Yes

Minimum Wage: Raise the federal minimum wage?

Portman: Open to raising and indexing to inflation, but believes $10.10 or more would create job losses.

Strickland: Yes. Raise to $12 per hour.

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

Portman: In theory supportive, but opposed bills for clean energy subsidies & renewable energy requirement.

Strickland: Yes

Social Security: Support full or partial Social Security privatization?

Portman: Did as Bush’s budget director, now says he doesn’t.[6]

Strickland: No

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

Portman: No. Voted against Elizabeth Warren bill to do this.

Strickland: Yes

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

Portman: Voted to cut Pell grants, although did make them accessible to high school students attending college. Has both supported and opposed low-income Perkins loans.

Strickland: Yes

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

Portman: No

Strickland: Yes

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

Portman: No. Pledged to oppose “any or all” tax increases to raise revenue. Supports cutting corporate & individual taxes.

Strickland: Yes. Increase payroll taxes on the wealthy to ensure Social Security & Medicare funding.

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

Portman: Unclear, but has not backed bills to expand voting rights.[7]

Strickland: No. Believes these types of laws are a form of minority voter suppression.

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Other senate candidates include Joseph DeMare (G), Thomas William Connors (I), and Scott Rupert (I). 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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[1] Uncertain about role of human activity. Voted against January 2015 amendment that stated “human activity significantly contributes” to climate change, and urged Congress to act. Then supported one simply saying it contributed.

[2]Introduced 2012 bill to significantly delay intended regulatory reforms.

[3] Was previously opposed to any limitations on gun access with an A+ NRA rating. Said mass shootings, like Sandy Hook, shifted his perspective on gun access.

[4] Introduced 2015 bill to permanently end shutdowns while cutting interim budget more the longer any impasse continued.

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

[6] Supported privatization as Bush budget director, but currently says doesn’t support privatization

[7] Has said believes in supporting voting rights but has not yet supported Voting Rights Advancement Act to remedy Supreme Court decision eliminating key Voting Rights Act provisions.

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