Rick Weiland vs. Mike Rounds vs. Larry Pressler Nonpartisan Candidate Guide For South Dakota Senate Race 2014

10/20/2014 10:42 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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Are you looking for a nonpartisan voter guide to the Rick Weiland vs. Mike Rounds vs. Larry Pressler 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 Rick Weiland, Mike Rounds and Larry Pressler, with additional links at the bottom for each candidate if you'd like to dig deeper.
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Budget: Did you support raising the Federal debt ceiling with no strings attached?
Weiland: Yes
Rounds: Yes
Pressler: Yes

Budget: Do you support a Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment?
Weiland: Probable no--focuses on how deficit was caused by unfunded wars and tax cuts for wealthy
Rounds: Yes
Pressler: No

Campaign Finance: Do you support the DISCLOSE Act, which would require key funders of political ads to put their names on those ads?
Weiland: Yes
Rounds: No. Supports disclosing contributions but not expenditures.
Pressler: Yes

Campaign Finance: Do you support the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which allowed unlimited independent political expenditures by corporations and unions?
Weiland: No. Actively supports legislation to reverse Citizens United (Campaign finance reform is the cornerstone of his campaign. Wants Constitutional amendment giving Congress the power to limit the raising and spending of money for federal elections.)
Rounds: Yes
Pressler: No

Economy: Do you support raising the minimum wage?
Weiland: Yes
Rounds: No (Did support a 2008 increase)
Pressler: Yes

Economy: Do you support extending unemployment benefits beyond 26 weeks?
Weiland: Yes
Rounds: Unknown
Pressler: Unknown

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?
Weiland: Yes
Rounds: No
Pressler: Yes

Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
Weiland: Yes
Rounds: No
Pressler: No

Education: Do you support refinancing of student loans at lower rates, paid for by increasing taxes on income over a million dollars?
Weiland: Yes
Rounds: No
Pressler: Unknown

Environment: Do you believe that human activity is a major factor contributing to climate change?
Weiland: Yes
Rounds: Yes
Pressler: Yes

Environment: Do you support government action to limit the levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere?
Weiland: Yes
Rounds: No
Pressler: Yes

Environment: Do you support government mandates and/or subsidies for renewable energy?
Weiland: Yes--Also developed international green commercial construction code
Rounds: On a limited basis (Main goal is to remove government involvement of any sort, but supports time-limited government energy credits for all energy development, with highest percentage to traditional sources. See Rapid City Journal article for more detail.)
Pressler: No

Gay Marriage: Do you support gay marriage?
Weiland: Yes
Rounds: No, Supports legal contract but not marriage
Pressler: Yes

Gun Control: Do you support enacting more restrictive gun control legislation?
Weiland: Supports required background checks
Rounds: No
Pressler: No

Healthcare: Do you support repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare?
Weiland: No. Would also work to allow people to buy into Medicare at a earlier age.
Rounds: Yes
Pressler: No

Healthcare: Did you support shutting down the federal government in order to defund Obamacare in 2013?
Weiland: No
Rounds: Yes
Pressler: No

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?
Weiland: Yes
Rounds: No
Pressler: Unknown

Immigration: Do you support the comprehensive immigration plan passed by the Senate in 2013, which includes a pathway to citizenship and increased funding for border security?
Weiland: Yes. Border security and a pathway to citizenship can proceed at the same time.
Rounds: No. Border security must come first; then limited path to citizenship with multiple preconditions and limitations.
Pressler: Yes

Marijuana: Do you support efforts to decriminalize and/or legalize marijuana?
Weiland: Yes
Rounds: No
Pressler: Unknown

Social Issues: Should abortion be highly restricted?
Weiland: No
Rounds: Yes. In 2006, signed legislation (later repealed by voters) banning all abortions in the state except those necessary to save a woman's life.
Pressler: No

Social Issues: Should employers be able to withhold contraceptive coverage from employees if they disagree with it morally?
Weiland: No
Rounds: Yes
Pressler: Unknown

Social Issues: Should Planned Parenthood receive public funds for non-abortion health services?
Weiland: Yes
Rounds: No
Pressler: Unknown

Social Security: Do you support partial privatization of Social Security?
Weiland: No. Would raise payroll tax cap to draw more revenue from high earners.
Rounds: Contested--Has praised Paul Ryan budget, which includes private "premium support" system for Medicare, saying "I commend Representative Ryan for what he has done." Later, Rounds's campaign said that Rounds doesn't support Ryan's specific Medicare proposals. On relation of premium support system to vouchers, see Politifact analysis.
Pressler: No

Taxes: Have you signed the Americans for Tax Reform Pledge to oppose any tax increases to raise revenue?
Weiland: No
Rounds: No
Pressler: No

Taxes: Would you increase taxes on corporations and/or high-income individuals to pay for public services?
Weiland: Yes
Rounds: No
Pressler: Yes

Learn more about the candidates:
Weiland: Rick Weiland Vote Smart pages and Rick Weiland On the Issues pages
Rounds: Mike Rounds Vote Smart pages and Mike Rounds On the Issues pages
Pressler: Larry Pressler Vote Smart pages and Larry Pressler On the Issues pages
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Other senate candidates include Gordon Howie (Independent). Due to limited space, we can't include his positions, but invite you to check out his website.