The special election to replace Senator Edward M. Kennedy in the US Senate.
SOURCES: Reporting by The Boston Globe, other news media, statements by the candidates during debates, and information from the candidates' websites.
- Supports President Obama's plan to add 30,000 troops to the country, saying "Winning the war on terror and defeating the Taliban is essential in preventing another 9/11-style attack."
- Fears the Democratic candidates who oppose more troops "will jeopardize the safety of our troops."
- Believes lower taxes encourage economic growth.
- In a 2008 questionnaire from Project Vote Smart, answered taxes should be greatly decreased across the board.
- Says the $787 billion stimulus plan "hasn't created one job that I'm aware of."
- Supports charter schools
- In favor of using the MCAS exam as a graduation requirement.
- Supports the METCO program
- Favors a mix of "solar, wind, nuclear, limited drilling" as new energy sources, but opposes a proposed wind farm for Nantucket Sound.
- Voted for a regional cap-and-trade law to curb carbon emissions, but now says he would oppose a similar federal proposal because the law has increased energy prices in the Northeast.
- Received a perfect 100 ranking from the Massachusetts Audobon Society in 2007 for his votes on environmental issues, though he has ranked below the average state senator in other years.
- In a 2008 questionnaire for Project Vote Smart, said he supports use of state funds to preserve open spaces.
- Says he would vote against the health care overhaul being debated in Congress because it would increase costs for Massachusetts.
- Believes all Americans should be covered, but doesn't support a new government insurance program to achieve that goal.
- Thinks the current private market system should be strengthened.
- Supported the 2006 Massachusetts health care law that expanded coverage to nearly all state residents, but says Governor Patrick now needs to control costs of the Commonwealth Care program.
- Opposes President Obama's plan to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.
- Thinks more should be done to empower the Afghan government.
- Reached settlements worth tens of millions with companies involved in the housing collapse.
- Says she will not support a second stimulus plan until she sees more evidence the first one is working.
- Pledges to help reform regulatory oversight of the financial industries to prevent another economic crisis.
- Promises to work with small and large businesses in Massachusetts to create jobs.
- Thinks No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation is currently flawed, but can be improved.
- Will support legislation that directs NCLB funding to local governments.
- Supports growth models and indexing systems to track the progress of individual students rather than standardized testing.
- Backs funding for all-day kindergarten and universal preschool, as well as expansion to early education programs such as Head Start.
- Respects the role of charter schools, but is concerned about their effect on the finances of schools in host districts.
- Will work to make sure charter schools are transparent in funding and administration.
- Supports a wind farm on Nantucket Sound opposed by the late Senator Edward M . Kennedy.
- As attorney general, challenged the Bush administration's EPA to enforce caps on motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions, as mandated in the Clean Air Act.
- Supports legislation to create a national cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions
- Backs the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, which seeks to reduce pollution and fund green job creation
- Is the only candidate open to providing federal subsidies for nuclear power, saying "nuclear can't be off the table."
- Supports a public insurance option to compete with private insurance, which she says will help to reduce health care costs.
- Initially oposed the health care overhaul bill because it limited insurance coverage for abortions, but now says she would vote for the legislation.
- Pledges to work to change insurance payment incentives, and to bring greater transparency of health care costs.
- Opposes President Obama's troop increase, saying: We cannot end a war if we continue to escalate it.
- Says: "The role of the American military should be to defend against attack or the imminent threat of attack, not to act as an ongoing police state on foreign soil.
- Calls small businesses the "lifeblood of this country."
- Believes decreasing the unemployment rate is key to reducing other economic problems the nation faces.
- Says the government needs to free up credit for investments, and make it available to small businesses.
- Wants to gradually decrease welfare benefits and eventually dismantle the program.
- Does not support the No Child Left Behind law, saying that it places too much emphasis on a limited number of subjects.
- If elected, he would also call for the end of the federal governments involvement in education and would close the federal Department of Education.
- Says: State and local governments and, more importantly, our school teachers, will do much more for our children with that money than the federal government ever has."
- Says he considers himself an environmentalist.
- Believes the greatest polluter in America is the US government, and says if elected he would make the government "responsible for cleaning up its own mess."
- Opposes the current health care plans pending before Congress
- Wants fewer regulations imposed by the federal government, not more
- Proposals include health care deregulation, replacing government agencies with free-market alternatives, and allowing tax-free personal medical savings accounts.