Left, Lefter, Leftist

The Democratic presidential primary season begins in one month, with the District of Columbia primary on January 13, the Iowa Caucuseson January 19, and the New Hampshire primary on January 27. THe top three candidates — Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean — range from left to far left in their views.

Below is a samplikng of where these Democrats stand on key issues.


National Poll: (FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll — Nov. 18-19)

  • Kerry: 8%
  • Gephardt: 9%
  • Dean: 18%
  • Iowa Poll: (Zogby International, Dec. 2)

  • Kerry: 9%
  • Gephardt: 22%
  • Dean: 26%
  • The New Hampshire Poll:

  • Kerry: 13%
  • Gephardt: 5%
  • Dean: 45%
  • Issues:

    Iraq War:

  • Kerry:
  • FOR AND AGAINST — Kerry voted for the the war resolution, then backed away from the war. “It was right to have a threat of force because it’s only the threat of force that got Hanz Blix and the inspectors back in the country. The difference is, I would have planned, I would have been patient, I would have worked with the United Nations.” (August 31, 2003)

  • Gephardt:
  • FOR — Gephardt voted for the resolution. “To me, this is about disarming Saddam Hussein. And the reason I think that’s important is that we’ve got to keep our people safe.” (February 23, 2003)

  • Dean:
  • AGAINST — “I opposed the President’s preemptive war because I thought the threat wasn’t imminent and because I thought it would make us less safe here in Ameica.” (

    Repealing Bush Tax Cuts:

  • Kerry:
  • FOR PARTIAL REPEAL — Supports “canceling the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and closing corporate loopholes, while keeping tax cuts for the middle class.” (May 16, 2003)

  • Gephardt:
  • FOR — “I am especially encouraged that my call to repeal the Bush tax cuts to lift our lagging economy and get all Americans covered with health insurance has resonated so strongly all across the country. (June 30, 2003)

  • Dean:
  • FOR — “The first step in reversing this agenda, balancing the budget and putting the U.S. fiscal house in order must be the repeal of the Bush tax cuts.” (

    Socialized Medicine:

  • Kerry:
  • FOR — Would “allow all Americans to buy into the same health plan that the President and Members of Congress give themselves — with subsidies . . . and it will bring us extraordinarily close to our goal of universal coverage. (May 16, 2003)

  • Gephardt:
  • FOR — “The foundation of the Gephardt plan is a guarantee of affordable coverage for every worker, part-time and full-time . . . . Under the Gephardt plan, every employer must offer coverage. This will mean no employers can drop coverage.” (

  • Dean:
  • FOR — “From day one, I’ve outlined how I’d achieve universal health care and challeged my opponents to do the same.” (

    Illegal Alien Amnesty:

  • Kerry:
  • FOR — “I want to say immediately that anyone who has been in this country for five or six years, who’s paid their taxes, who has stayed out of trouble, ought to be able to translate into an American citizen immediately, not waiting.” (September 4, 2003)

  • Gephardt:
  • FOR — “Gephardt . . . would allow hard-working, tax-paying immigrants who have played by the rules, lived in the U.S. for at least five years and passed a background check to become legal residents.” (

  • Dean:
  • FOR — “Allowing undocumented farm workers to legalize their status is a momentous step, but only the first on the path to broader immigration reform.” (

    Gay Civil Unions:

  • Kerry:
  • FOR — “John Kerry believes that same-sex couples should be granted rights . . . and other basic legal protections that all families and children need. . . . He was one of 14 Senators — and the only one up for reelection in 1996 — to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). (

  • Gephardt:
  • FOR — “I believe we must allow civil unions to guarantee full and equal protection of the law. It’s basic decency.” (

  • Dean:
  • FOR — “I’m proud to say that as Governor of Vermont, I signed legislation to grant homosexual couples the right to enter into civil unions. This law, the first of its kind in the United States, guarantees lesbian and gay couples the same basic legal rights that married coulpes enjoy.” (

    Affirmative Acion:

  • Kerry:
  • FOR — “I have always supported affirmative action.” (August 30, 2003)

  • Gephardt:
  • FOR — “Gephardt led the fight on the House floor to preserve affirmative action in college admissions programs and stop Republican eforts to roll back affirmative action programs in federal contracting.” (

  • Dean:
  • FOR — “I am delighted that the Supreme Court has upheld the principle of affirmative action in education. This was a victory for the civil rights of all Americans.” (