Policy Differences between Stewart and Kaine

September 5, 2018

Introduction: Tim Kaine (D) and Corey Stewart (R) are vying for the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Kaine.  Two non-partisan websites, Vote Smart[1] and OnTheIssues[2], provide excellent summaries of their positions on various issues.  There is more information on Kaine, because he has a history of votes in the Senate.  Both sites cover both candidates.  We take the list of issues from the OnTheIssues website.

Positions of the Two Candidates: The two candidates were not given the same survey questions; therefore, direct comparisons are not always possible.  Major differences are evident on the issues of abortion, budget, immigration, jobs, healthcare, the military, and tax reform, as indicated in the following table. Corey Stewart’s campaign website is https://www.coreystewart.com/.

Exhibit 1: Stewart’s Voter Guide

Discussion:  OnTheIssues lists the issues in alphabetical order.  We do the same.. We emphasize the differences in the positions taken by the two candidates.  Under many issues, the candidates were not asked the same question.  In these cases, a direct comparison is not possible.


Kaine considers abortion to be morally evil but votes to provide public funding for abortion.  Stewart, who, like Kaine, is Catholic, differs from Kaine because Stewart is 100% pro-life, opposing abortion from the moment of conception.  He fights for restrictions on abortion, but always within the limits of Roe-Wade.


Kaine states that the economy is best stimulated by more government spending.  Stewart favors a market-led recovery, reducing taxes so the private sector is energized.  Kaine agrees with Obama’s policies while Stewart agrees with Trump policies.

In December 2006, Kaine gave, not sold, the Dulles Toll Road to the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA), including any revenues received from the tolls.  In doing so, he removed the responsibility for toll increases from elected officials to the unelected Board of MWAA.  MWAA is, by law, independent of all governments — federal, state and local — and, therefore, utterly unaccountable to the voters.   The net present value of the assets transferred, mostly the anticipated tolls, was $3.52 billion.

Civil rights (Marriage)

Kaine considers marriage to be a civil right for each and every couple, regardless of the sexual orientation of the people.  Stewart wants to reserve the word “marriage” for the union of one man and one woman.


Kaine is personally opposed to the death penalty but allows the government to impose the death penalty.  Stewart calls for stricter punishment for violent crimes but not for non-violent crimes.  He does not address the death penalty.


Kaine does not want to decriminalize marijuana use; Stewart does but does not want to legalize.  Kaine blames the big pharmaceutical companies for the opioid crisis.  Stewart has no comment on the opioid crisis.


Kaine favors the Common Core national standard curriculum, requiring all schools to pass national standards of performance.  Stewart favors charter schools and vouchers for private-school funding so that parents have a choice other than public schools.


Kaine wants the government to support wind, nuclear, solar, fracking, and offshore drilling[3]; Stewart opposes excessive EPA regulations that stifle conventional means of producing energy.


Kaine wants increased spending to preserve our water resources.  Stewart claims that the EPA has so overstepped its charter that it is unnecessarily hurting the economy.


Kaine wants to require faith-based adoption agencies to provide services to same-sex couples.  Stewart strongly supports traditional, recognizing the value strong families contribute to society.

Foreign policy

Kaine supports Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran[4].  Stewart supports Trump’s America First approach, including strong opposition to the Iran Deal.

Free Trade

Kaine supports NAFTA and the Transpacific Partnership.  Stewart supports such trade agreements only if they are favorable to the U.S. companies and workers.  He, like Trump, believes that these two agreements are not favorable to U.S. companies and workers.

Government Reform

Kaine favors tax-supported campaign financing and term limits for Congress. Kaine opposes requirements for voter photo ID.  Stewart thinks voter photo ID is essential to keeping fraud out of the election process.


Both candidates state that mentally healthy people have an absolute right to own guns.  Kaine wants to restrict gun purchases and magazine sizes.  Stewart wants to ease the laws limiting permits for carrying concealed weapons.

Health care

Kaine wants to retain Obamacare; Stewart wants to repeal Obamacare.

Homeland security

Kaine wants openly practicing homosexuals to be allowed to serve in the military and for women to be allowed to serve in combat roles.  He does not want Iran to develop nuclear weapons, but did support Obama’s Iran agreement. Kaine is silent on the funding of the military.  Stewart wants to expand the military.  He would support military use to prevent hostile nations from acquiring nuclear weapons.


Kaine supports having a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants; Stewart does not.  Kaine does not want illegal immigrants deported; Stewart does.  Kaine also believes illegal aliens should qualify for in-state tuition and government-subsidized healthcare.


Neither candidate has made any substantial statement pertaining specifically to jobs.

Principles and values

Kaine thinks that religion should influence politics[5].  Stewart wants to keep God in the public square.

Social Security

Kaine opposes privatizing Social Security.  Stewart has no comments on Social Security.

Tax Reform

Kaine wants to increase taxes on the wealthy.  Stewart states that the wealthy already contribute their fair share and that cutting taxes increases jobs.


Kaine wants the government to fund space travel.  He also wants to allow states to tax Internet purchases.  Stewart apparently was asked no questions on technology.

War and peace

Kaine supports Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.  Stewart wants to avoid foreign entanglements.


Both candidates want to reduce dependence on welfare.  Kaine supported giving $2M to Virginia for job training of those on welfare.


[1] https://votesmart.org/

[2] www.ontheissues.org/

[3] http://www.ontheissues.org/Tim_Kaine.htm

[4] http://www.ontheissues.org/Tim_Kaine.htm

[5] http://www.ontheissues.org/Tim_Kaine.htm


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