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2008 Presidential Contenders: Where They Stand, What They’re (Not) Saying, and How They’re Framing the Issues
Unformatted Document Text:  America’s infrastructure, Obama’s called for an investment in technology to make it more accessible, and finally, McCain’s website discussed investing in the space program. “Taxes” was the issue most frequently listed in this category, which also included excessive government spending, and the federal budget. Government Regulation o I believe that government should increase regulation on corporations to protect workers and consumers from abuse. o I believe that government should provide more economic incentives to corporations to promote growth. Should government provide more regulations of corporations to protect workers and consumers? This question elicited some variance among GOP candidates, as McCain slightly agreed with this proposition. However, Paul and Thompson were strongly against. All Democratic candidates were strongly in favor of increasing corporate regulation, except for Biden who only slightly agreed. Edwards used the term “predatory loan practices” to refer to unscrupulous lenders. This issue is like to gain momentum. Should government provide more corporate economic incentives to promote growth? Among Democrats, only Clinton strongly opposed offering more corporate incentives, followed by Biden, Edwards and Kucinich who “disagreed”. Obama and Richardson scored a slight disagree and a neutral respectively. Meanwhile, only Rudy Giuliani and Thompson were in strong agreement. Huckabee was neutral, McCain and Paul were somewhat in favor, and Romney was in favor. This suggests that candidates moved a bit more to the middle on this issue from both sides of the aisle. Agriculture o I support increased agricultural subsidies. Agriculture is not being discussed much this election season, nor do voters seem to care much about it. Support for agricultural subsidies came in dead last on the importance measure by VoteHelp visitors. In fact, only Huckabee strongly agreed with the above statement, followed by Clinton and Richardson, who slightly agreed. Obama, Edwards and all the other GOP candidates opposed increases in these subsidies. We were unable to find any issue position on agriculture at all taken by Guiliani. Economic Issues o I believe we should increase the minimum wage. o I support more free trade with other countries. Two perennial economic issues are free trade and support for minimum wage increases. Here we see traditional party cleavages, whereby Democratic candidates expressed strong support for increasing the minimum wage, while GOP contenders were opposed, except for Huckabee, who was neutral. Similarly, candidates split on party lines, with the exception of Ron Paul, on the question of supporting more free trade with other nations. McCain and Romney led the pack, 11

Authors: Soule, Suzanne., Nairne, Jennifer. and Iyer, Ravi.
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America’s infrastructure, Obama’s called for an investment in technology to make it more
accessible, and finally, McCain’s website discussed investing in the space program. “Taxes” was
the issue most frequently listed in this category, which also included excessive government
spending, and the federal budget.
Government Regulation
o
I believe that government should increase regulation on corporations to protect workers and
consumers from abuse.
o
I believe that government should provide more economic incentives to corporations to
promote growth.
Should government provide more regulations of corporations to protect workers and consumers?
This question elicited some variance among GOP candidates, as McCain slightly agreed with this
proposition. However, Paul and Thompson were strongly against. All Democratic candidates
were strongly in favor of increasing corporate regulation, except for Biden who only slightly
agreed. Edwards used the term “predatory loan practices” to refer to unscrupulous lenders. This
issue is like to gain momentum.
Should government provide more corporate economic incentives to promote growth? Among
Democrats, only Clinton strongly opposed offering more corporate incentives, followed by
Biden, Edwards and Kucinich who “disagreed”. Obama and Richardson scored a slight disagree
and a neutral respectively. Meanwhile, only Rudy Giuliani and Thompson were in strong
agreement. Huckabee was neutral, McCain and Paul were somewhat in favor, and Romney was
in favor. This suggests that candidates moved a bit more to the middle on this issue from both
sides of the aisle.
Agriculture
o
I support increased agricultural subsidies.
Agriculture is not being discussed much this election season, nor do voters seem to care much
about it. Support for agricultural subsidies came in dead last on the importance measure by
VoteHelp visitors. In fact, only Huckabee strongly agreed with the above statement, followed by
Clinton and Richardson, who slightly agreed. Obama, Edwards and all the other GOP candidates
opposed increases in these subsidies. We were unable to find any issue position on agriculture at
all taken by Guiliani.
Economic Issues
o
I believe we should increase the minimum wage.
o
I support more free trade with other countries.
Two perennial economic issues are free trade and support for minimum wage increases. Here we
see traditional party cleavages, whereby Democratic candidates expressed strong support for
increasing the minimum wage, while GOP contenders were opposed, except for Huckabee, who
was neutral. Similarly, candidates split on party lines, with the exception of Ron Paul, on the
question of supporting more free trade with other nations. McCain and Romney led the pack,
11


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