Candidate Profile
Mark Sanford

Republican , South Carolina


Mark Sanford
U.S. Rep., Dist. 1

Panel Rating



Conservative Organizations

American Family Association (AFA), 2017-18:  100%
FRC Action, 2017:  100%
National Right to Life, 2017-19:  100%
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), 2016:  94%, 94% (cum.)
Club for Growth, 2016:  100%, 93% (cum.)
Conservative Review (CR), 2018:  93% (cum.)
FreedomWorks, 2018:  100%, 93% (cum.)
American Conservative Union (ACU), 2016:  96%, 91% (cum.)
Americans for Prosperity (AFP), 2017-18:  84%, 88% (cum.)
National Taxpayers Union, 2016:  B+
Campaign for Working Families PAC, 2015-16:  86%
Eagle Forum, 2015-16:  86%
Heritage Action, 2017-18:  90%, 84% (cum.)
Center for Security Policy, 2015-16:  74%



Liberal Organizations

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 2015-16:  35%
League of Conservation Voters (LCV), 2016:  21%, 25% (cum.)
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), 2015:  0%, 14% (cum.)
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), 2015:  13%, 12% (cum.)
American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), 2016:  8%
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), 2015:  5%
Human Rights Campaign, 2015-16:  0%
Planned Parenthood, 2017:  0%



Selected Contributions


Club for Growth, State Republican Party Organizations
Acton PAC, American Principles, Associated Builders and Contractors, Citizens Against Government Waste, Citizens United, Club for Growth and 31 more


Airline Pilots Association, Marijuana Policy Project, National Air Traffic Controllers Association







Other Information


Please note: Responses are entered electronically by the candidate and are listed verbatim.

Human life begins at conception and deserves legal protection at every stage until natural death.

Strongly Agree

I am in favor of construction of a wall and other necessary infrastructure on our border that gives complete control over entering and exiting the United States.

Strongly Agree

Governments should not discriminate against individuals, organizations or small businesses because of their belief that marriage is only a union of one man and one woman.

Strongly Agree

Governments should define marriage as between one man and one woman; no other definition of marriage should be legalized or supported with taxpayer or public funds.

Strongly Agree

It is the government’s responsibility to be sure everyone has a livable income.

Strongly Disagree

It is the government’s responsibility to be sure everyone has health insurance.

Strongly Disagree

Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which permitted our system of limited government.

Strongly Agree

More restrictive gun control is needed to protect public safety.

Strongly Disagree

Free enterprise and the right to private property are essential elements of a productive economic system.

Strongly Agree

Additional regulations are needed to prevent climate change.


Religious liberty is at risk in the United States and deserves the highest level of protection in the law.

Strongly Agree

The United States should help defend Israel from attack by its enemies.

Strongly Agree

Abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, should not receive funds from federal, state, or local governments.

Strongly Agree

Islamic law (Sharia) should take precedence over national and state laws where there are Islamic majority communities in the U. S.

Strongly Disagree

Congress should pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

Strongly Agree

People should be allowed to use public restrooms, showers, and changing rooms based on "gender identity."

Strongly Disagree

I support sanctuary cities.

Strongly Disagree

It is OK for Congress to exempt itself from compliance with laws applicable to all citizens.

Strongly Disagree

I support the death penalty.

Strongly Agree

Tuition-free public education should be guaranteed through college.

Strongly Disagree

The United States should protect its sovereignty from the United Nations.

Strongly Agree

The best way to maintain peace is through a strong military.

Strongly Agree

I voted in these primaries and general elections:

2010 General Election, 2010 Republican Primary, 2012 General Election, 2012 Republican Primary, 2014 General Election, 2014 Republican Primary, 2016 General Election, 2016 Republican Primary

Under what circumstances should abortion be allowed?

I believe abortion should only be allowed to prevent the death of the mother, or in cases of rape reported to law enforcement agency or incest against a minor reported to a child abuse agency.

What should the United States do to help eradicate the threat of radical Islamic terrorism?

The first part of addressing a problem lies in confronting it. Accordingly, we should call this problem for what it is and not dance around the specter of this threat. Change will require dealing with root causes in the region, a sustained military effort against it, and advancement of an alternative value system found in the Judeo-Christian culture.

What in the nature of mankind caused America’s Founders to carefully define, separate, and limit powers in the Constitution?

That men were fallen. In fact it was Madison who noted that "If men are angels, no government would be necessary." Across the sea, Lord Acton observed that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It was this sentiment that led the Founding Fathers to divide power as they did.

Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

That God is sovereign and man is not. That I am a sinner saved by God's grace. That there is absolute truth in God's law which if observed is many ways designed to protect us from ourselves. That we are here to love God with all our heart, mind and soul - and your neighbor as yourself. And finally, taht we will be judged in life in part based on what we do with what we have in accordance with the parable of the talents.

When you consider your views on a wide range of issues from economic and social matters to foreign policy and immigration, which of the following best describes you overall?

Very Conservative

Please provide publicly available information validating your answer to the previous question.

Ranked in the top 1% in Congress by National Taxpayers Union and ranked #3 most conservative in Congress by Club for Growth. Scored 93% by Conservative Review and featured in "Top 25 Conservatives in Congress". Scored 100% by Freedom Works. Lifetime 92% by Citizens Against Government Waste. Endorsed by National Right to Life.

How would you promote healthcare coverage that is adequate, affordable and accessible for all?

Create a plan that is patient-centered and consumer-driven which will ultimately lower costs and increase access to health care. Attributes of a free-market approach would include promoting health savings accounts, ensuring tax relief for individual health insurance purchasers and allowing people to band together to purchase their own insurance. We proposed such a bill this Congress with Senator Rand Paul.

What role should government play in boosting the economy?

Government’s role should be limited to helping to create an environment in which businesses can flourish and new investment is attracted. When government creates the right soil conditions, economic growth can then follow.

What changes should be made to the tax code?

The tax code could be simpler. The new law does this to an extent but there’s always room for improvement. In the long run, I believe we should go much further. It’s for this reason that I am a cosponsor of both the Fair Tax and Flat Tax proposals.

What is the best way to bring down unemployment?

If you’re creating the right soil conditions, businesses will flourish and jobs will follow. For me, this means limited government, a tax system that rewards investment and work, a lean regulatory regime, a fair and transparent judicial legal system, sound monetary policy, and private property rights.

How would you guarantee Social Security benefits for future generations?

As a start, we must cut spending and balance the budget. It’s for this reason I introduced the One Percent Spending Reduction Act, also called the Penny Plan, which cuts a penny from every dollar of federal spending and balances the budget in five years. In addition, I believe that we need to move to a system of personal social security accounts. This would protect against future congresses using Social Security Trust Fund money as a de facto slush fund for other purposes.

What education or experience qualifies you to hold the office for which you seek election?

I think that the experience most relevant in this case is that I have done what I said I would do in public office. A long list of independent scorekeepers have ranked me as one of the most conservative members of Congress. I’ve been a consistent watchdog for the taxpayer. In addition, I’ve worked hard to be transparent and accountable to the taxpayers I represent. It’s for this reason I was ranked the third most accessible member of Congress in 2017. Finally, I’ve tried to go the extra mile as I post daily on social media the “what, where and why” of my votes on behalf of those I attempt to represent in Washington.

E-mail address and phone number for voters to reach you:

Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

You can find more on my record and where I stand on the issues at


  • Furman University, Greenville
  • University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, Charlottesville
Work & Military
  • (Candidate did not provide)
  • (Candidate did not provide)
  • Governor, Held 2003-2011
  • US House, Held 1995-2001

Get Reminders

From important news to voting dates and reminders, iVoterGuide equips you to make an impact and a real difference in every election.
Join Now