Seth Moulton is running for president in 2020. Here's everything we know about the candidate and how he stacks up against the competition.
Samantha Lee/Business Insider
Samantha Lee/Business Insider
Who is Seth Moulton?
Current job: US Representative for Massachusetts' 6th district. Currently running for president of the United States as a Democratic candidate.Age: 40.Advertisement
Family: Moulton is married to Elizabeth Boardman, an executive search consultant for a consulting firm. Together they have a daughter, named Emmy.
Hometown: Marblehead, Massachusetts.Political party: Democratic.
Previous jobs: US Marine from 2002 to 2008, managing director of Texas Central Railway, startup entrepreneur.
Who is Seth Moulton's direct competition for the nomination?Based on a recurring series of national surveys we conduct, we can figure out who the other candidates competing in Moulton's lane are, and who the broader opponents are within the party.Even after weeks of polling, we're really not near the sample size of Seth Moulton's name recognition where we'd be confident interpreting his performance and drawing conclusions about a viable candidacy.Advertisement
INSIDER has been conducting a recurring poll through SurveyMonkey Audience on a national sample to find out how different candidate's constituencies overlap. We ask people whether they are familiar with a candidate, whether they would be satisfied or unsatisfied with that candidate as nominee, and sometimes we also ask whether they think that person would win or lose in a general election against President Donald Trump.
What are Seth Moulton's policy positions?
- On healthcare:
- On immigration:
- Moulton, a centrist Democrat, describes the current immigration system as "broken" and supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
- After President Donald Trump announced his administration was ending the DACA program in 2017, Moulton rebuked the decision and described it as "cruel and unusual, and clearly motivated purely by anti-immigrant political pandering."
- On climate change:
- Moulton describes climate change as one of two "primary challenges in this country right now" and co-sponsored the Green New Deal.
- "The first [primary challenge] is that our economy is changing faster than ever before, and Americans everywhere are being left behind," Moulton's campaign website said. "The second is climate change. That's why we need a Green New Deal: because if we do it right, we can solve both problems at once."
- Moulton opposes Trump's changes to legislation on climate change: "President Trump's executive order on the environment shows a complete disregard for facts and science. Trump's executive order completely ignores reality and will irresponsibly roll back the progress we made under President Obama to protect our environment for generations to come."
- In 2016, Moulton signed a resolution that called for 50% of US energy production to originate from clean and carbon-free sources by 2030.
- On campaign finance:
- According to OpenSecrets, 15% of Moulton's PAC donations during his career have come from labor, while 66% have come from businesses.
- Moulton raised millions of dollars through the Serve America PAC, his veteran-boosting political action committee. Between January 2017 and September 2018, the PAC raised $2 million and was the third-highest Democratic leadership fundraiser, according to POLITICO.
- On abortion:
- Moulton supports abortion rights. He voted against imposing penalties for abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- "Restricting women's rights is not just bad for women, it's bad for families, it's bad for communities, and it's bad for a country founded upon the values of freedom and equal rights," Moulton said in a statement in 2018.
- On LGBTQ rights:
- Moulton backed the Equality Act, an amendment to the Civil Rights Act. The Equality Act seeks to ban discrimination against LGBT people in many facets of society, including housing, federal funding, employment, and education.
- "No one should ever be discriminated against because of whom they love," Moulton said in a statement. "That's not who we are as Americans. Every American deserves the same basic protections under the law."
- On education:
- Moulton hails progressive education reforms but raises awareness to some of its shortcomings.
- "Despite the many successes that have resulted from [the Every Student Succeeds Act], and No Child Left Behind, too often a child's zip code determines the quality of his or her educational opportunities," Moulton said in a statement. "This is wrong, and we can do better."
- Moulton describes the skyrocketing cost of college education as "unacceptable" and co-authored legislation to provide free community college to students.
- On guns:
- Moulton, a former infantry officer in the Marine Corps, is not shy about voicing his support for gun control.
- "We are losing too many Americans to hate and gun violence, and I believe Congress has a moral obligation to take meaningful steps to heal our country and prevent these tragedies," Moulton said in a statement. "We owe it to the victims of these senseless tragedies and their families to debate and vote on reasonable gun violence prevention proposals which the majority of Americans support."
- Moulton supports an assault rifle ban and mandatory background checks for all firearm purchases.
- Following the 2017 shooting in Las Vegas, Moulton supported the ban on bump stocks.
- He holds an "F" rating from the NRA.
- On criminal justice reform:
- Moulton disagrees with the notion that marijuana is a gateway drug and supports legalization.
- "Regulation is the way to address the concerns around these issues and actually try to make it safe," Moulton said in 2016. "But that's not going to happen if it's simply illegal."
- Moulton encouraged Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors to be open about considering marijuana as a possible treatment for patients.
- He does not believe prison inmates should have the right to vote but adds that they should "absolutely" have their rights restored after serving their sentences.
- On trade:
- Moulton broadly agrees with levying certain tariffs but characterizes Trump's approach as "short-sighted, irresponsible, and dangerous."
- Moulton describes China as one of the US's "economic competitors" who "steals our intellectual property."
- Instead of sparking a trade war with China, Moulton calls for it to be held accountable by the World Trade Organization.
- He believes tariffs on steel and aluminium will hurt US jobs.
- On foreign policy:
- Moulton believes Asia should establish a NATO-like entity to counter China.
- Russia is the immediate threat to the US while China is the long-term problem, according to Moulton.
- Moulton proposed redistributing the defense budget away from costly systems, such as aircraft carriers, and into the newer projects, like cyber weaponry.
- He has called for repealing the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which broadly allows the president to use military assets against groups directly and indirectly associated with the 9/11 attacks.
- Moulton disagreed with the merits of the Iraq War and pushed for the US to develop a coherent and sustainable plan for future operations in the Middle East.
- On taxes:
- Moulton cosponsored a resolution to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $12.00 an hour by 2020.
- In 2017, he voted against the Republican tax bill and called it "economically dangerous."
- Moulton supports comprehensive tax reform that benefits middle class Americans.
- "This isn't a tax reform plan, this is just a tax cut for the wealthy," Moulton said in a statement. "And Republicans are shoving it down our throats."
- He backed a bill that would require Trump to release 10 years of tax returns.
What are Seth Moulton's political successes and failures?
- Moulton's demand for "a new generation of leaders" to serve in Congress paid off in the 2018 midterm elections. His PAC endorsed candidates who had military or intelligence agency backgrounds, and flipped House seats in numerous states.
- He spearheaded a movement to prevent Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California from becoming Speaker. The effort eventually fizzled.
How much money has Seth Moulton raised?Moulton announced his candidacy in late April and raised $255,000 in the first quarter. The roughly $723,000 in his House campaign account can be used for his presidential campaign.Advertisement
Could Seth Moulton beat President Trump?
Referring back to INSIDER's recurring poll, Seth Moulton is not getting anywhere near enough name recognition to get the needed sample size to draw conclusions about how he'd perform in a general election against Donald Trump. Generally, that is not a good sign.
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