THE BLOG
10/17/2014 12:23 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mark Udall vs. Cory Gardner Nonpartisan Candidate Guide for Colorado Senate Race 2014

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Are you looking for a nonpartisan voter guide for the Mark Udall vs. Cory Gardner Senate race? One that will give you an unbiased, no-spin comparison of candidate positions on key issues? That's what our Campus Election Engagement Project guide will give you! We are a national nonpartisan initiative working with college and university administrators, faculty, and student leaders to increase student participation in America's elections. For the 2014 elections we have created and distributed voter guides to campuses in more than 20 states so they can provide their communities with accurate information for informed voting. Because these guides have been so well received and are useful for all voting citizens who want to be better informed, we are also posting them here.

We developed our guides by analyzing information from trusted resources such as www.votesmart.org, www.ontheissues.org, www.ballotpedia.com, www.politifact.com, www.factcheck.org, www.vote411.org and from candidate websites, public debates and interviews, and statements in major media outlets. We also showed them to groups like campus Young Republicans and Young Democrats at the schools we work with to verify their fairness and lack of bias.

So here are the issue-by-issue stands for Mark Udall and Cory Gardner, with additional links at the bottom for each candidate if you'd like to dig deeper. (You can also find Colorado's Governor and House of Representatives guides here.)
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Budget: Did you support raising the Federal debt ceiling with no strings attached?
Udall: Yes
Gardner: No

Budget: Do you support a Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment?
Udall: Yes, with limits on top bracket tax breaks (Supports a moderate version of balanced budget amendment)
Gardner: Yes

Campaign Finance: Do you support the DISCLOSE Act, which would require key funders of political ads to put their names on those ads?
Udall: Yes
Gardner: Unknown

Campaign Finance: Do you support the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which allowed unlimited independent political expenditures by corporations and unions?
Udall: No
Gardner: Unknown

Economy: Do you support raising the minimum wage?
Udall: Yes
Gardner: No

Economy: Do you support extending unemployment benefits beyond 26 weeks?
Udall: Yes
Gardner: No

Economy: Do you support the Dodd-Frank Act, which established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and sought to increase regulation of Wall Street corporations and other financial institutions?
Udall: Yes
Gardner: Unknown

Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
Udall: Yes
Gardner: No

Education: Do you support refinancing of student loans at lower rates, paid for by increasing taxes on income over a million dollars?
Udall: Yes
Gardner: Unknown

Environment: Do you believe that human activity is a major factor contributing to climate change?
Udall: Yes
Gardner: No

Environment: Do you support government action to limit the levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere?
Udall: Yes
Gardner: No

Environment: Do you support government mandates and/or subsidies for renewable energy?
Udall: Yes
Gardner: Position contested (Find more information on contested nature of candidate position here.)

Gay Marriage: Do you support gay marriage?
Udall: Yes
Gardner: No

Gun Control: Do you support enacting more restrictive gun control legislation?
Udall: Yes
Gardner: No

Healthcare: Do you support repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare?
Udall: No
Gardner:Yes

Healthcare: Did you support shutting down the federal government in order to defund Obamacare in 2013?
Udall: No
Gardner:Yes

Immigration: Do you support the D.R.E.A.M. Act, which would allow children brought into the country illegally to achieve legal status if they've graduated from high school, have a clean legal record, and attend college or serve in the military?
Udall: Yes
Gardner: No

Iraq: Should the US recommit troops to Iraq to combat the rise in insurgency?
Udall: Unknown. Believes any troop commitment must be approved by Congress
Gardner: Unknown. Suggests President Obama should propose a plan.

Marijuana: Do you support efforts to decriminalize and/or legalize marijuana?
Udall: Yes
Gardner: No (Opposed bill stopping funding of DEA medical marijuana raids in states where the substance is legal. Did support bill allowing banks to handle marijuana related transactions without penalties in states that have legalized the drug for medical or recreational purposes.)

Social Issues: Should abortion be highly restricted?
Udall: No
Gardner: Yes. Backs Federal fetal personhood bill that could also ban some forms of birth control (See FactCheck.org summary of Colorado controversy regarding personhood legislation, including potential impacts and candidate positions.

Social Issues: Should employers be able to withhold contraceptive coverage from employees if they disagree with it morally?
Udall: No
Gardner: Yes

Social Issues: Should Planned Parenthood receive public funds for non-abortion health services?
Udall: Yes
Gardner: No

Social Security: Do you support partial privatization of Social Security?
Udall: No
Gardner: Yes, via the 2012 Ryan Budget

Taxes: Have you signed the Americans for Tax Reform Pledge to oppose any tax increases to raise revenue? (The answer to this question is taken from the database of signatories of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, created by Americans for Tax Reform. Signers to the pledge promise to oppose "any and all tax increases" meant to generate additional revenue.)
Udall: No
Gardner: Yes

Taxes: Would you increase taxes on corporations and/or high-income individuals to pay for public services?
Udall: Yes
Gardner: No. See above.

Learn more about the candidates:
Udall: Mark Udall Vote Smart pages and Mark Udall On the Issues pages
Gardner: Cory Gardner Vote Smart pages and Cory Gardner On the Issues pages

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Other senate candidates include Gaylon Kent (Libertarian), Bill Hammons (Unity), and Steve Shogan (Independent). Due to limited space, we can't include their positions, but invite you to check out their websites.