Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey is up an average of 5.4 points on the Republican challenger Tom Smith in the Pennsylvania Senate race. In order to analyze this race one must understand the two candidates position on “the issues.”
Abortion/Birth Control- Casey: Opposes abortion rights, except in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is in danger. Smith: Opposes abortion rights in all cases.
Campaign Finance- Casey: Noted for a Democratic plan to force groups the disclosure of all sources of election-related spending. Smith: DId not take a position on whether he supports the disclosure of all sources of election-related spending.
Debt- Casey: Voted to raise debt limit to avoid default. Supports debt reduction using a mix of spending cuts and tax increases on high income brackets. Smith: Opposes raising debt limit to avoid default. Supports debt reduction using spending cuts and no tax increases.
Education- Casey: Supports increased funding for public schools. opposes the use of federal tax dollars or tax breaks to help students to pay tuition to non-public schools. Smith: Supports eliminating or substantially reducing the U.S. Department of Education in favor of state regulation. Supports state-level policies that increase public school alternatives and programs assisting children to attend public schools.
Energy and Environment- Casey: Supported an unsuccessful plan to charge large industrial polluters for greenhouse gas emissions. Voted to delay Environmental Protection Agency regulations to limit toxic pollution from industrial boilers and incinerators. Smith: Opposes new pollution regulations on power plants. Opposes EPA regulations to reduce toxic emissions from Coal and Oil fired power plants.
FInancial Regulation- Casey: Voted for a new post-recession regulatory scheme for banks. Smith: Opposes the Dodd-Frank and would vote to repeal it.
Gay Rights- Casey: Supports same-sex Civil Unions. Did not take a position on same-sex marriage, a mater decided by the states. Voted to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in military and go against the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Smith: opposes same-sex marriage, but would not ban it with a constitutional amendment.
Gun Rights- Casey: opposes stricter gun control laws. Smith: Opposes stricter gun control laws.
Heath Care- Casey: Voted in favor of the Affordable care act. Opposes giving a subsidy to seniors for private health insurance. Smith: Opposes affordable care act and would vote to repeal it. Supports keeping the traditional Medicare benefit while giving enrollees the option of taking a government subsidy.
Social Security- Casey: Opposes allowing the expiration of the 2011-12 tax cut that reduced Social Security payroll taxes on workers from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. Smith: Supports allowing the expiration of the 2011-12 tax cut that reduced Social Security payroll taxes on workers.
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