Candidate Profile
Joni Ernst

Republican , Iowa

Biography

Name
Joni Ernst
Party
Republican
Race
U.S. Senator
Incumbent
Yes
Links
           

Panel Rating*

Conservative Information icon *

*Additional information appears below for educational purposes; however, only data received prior to the candidate deadline was considered during Panel Evaluation.

Scorecards

Conservative Organizations

American Family Association (AFA), 2017-18:  100%
American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), 2017-18:  100%
Campaign for Working Families PAC, 2019-20:  100%
Concerned Women for America (CWA), 2020:  100%
Faith and Freedom Coalition (FFC), 2017-18:  100%, 100% (cum.)
FRC Action, 2018:  100%
National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), 2017-2018:  100%
National Right to Life, 2019-20:  100%
Susan B. Anthony List (SBA), 2020:  A
American Energy Alliance (AEA), 2019-20:  94%
National Tax-Limitation Committee (NTLC), 2017-18:  92%
Center for Security Policy, 2015-16:  87%
NumbersUSA, 2019:  28%, 84% (cum.)
American Conservative Union (ACU), 2019:  73%, 83% (cum.)
Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), 2019:  83%
Eagle Forum, 2015-16:  76%
FreedomWorks, 2019-20:  60%, 73% (cum.)
Club for Growth, 2019:  45%, 68% (cum.)
Heritage Action, 2019-20:  69%, 68% (cum.)
Gun Owners of America (GOA), 2017-18:  67%
Conservative Review (CR), 2019:  59% (cum.)
John Birch Society (same as Freedom Index), 2018:  56% (cum.)
Freedom Index, 2019:  54% (cum.)
National Taxpayers Union, 2019:  C

83%

CONSERVATIVE AVERAGE

Liberal Organizations

American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), 2018:  67%
Outdoor Industry Association PAC, 2018:  D
Foreign Policy for America, 2019:  23%
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 2019-20:  17%
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 2020:  17%
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), 2017:  0%, 13% (cum.)
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 2017-18:  13%
Alliance for Retired Americans, 2019:  20%, 8% (cum.)
League of Conservation Voters (LCV), 2018:  7%, 1% (cum.)
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), 2017:  0%, 0% (cum.)
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), 2017:  0%
Common Cause, 2017-18:  0%
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), 2017-18:  0%
Human Rights Campaign, 2017-18:  0%
International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 2017-18:  0%
NARAL Pro-Choice America (NARAL), 2019:  0%
National Education Association (NEA), 2017-18:  0%
National Iranian American Council (NIAC), 2018:  0%
National Religious Campaign Against Torture Action Fund (NRCAT), 2018:  0%
Planned Parenthood, 2019:  0% (cum.)
Population Connection Action Fund, 2019:  0%
Progressive Punch, 2019:  F
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA), 2017-18:  0%

8%

LIBERAL AVERAGE

Endorsements*

*These endorsements were received after the deadline and were not considered in the Panel Evaluations and are for additional educational purposes only.

Conservatives

14
*Campaign for Working Families, Citizens United Political Victory Fund, *Family Research Council Action PAC, *Government is Not God PAC, Huck PAC, Maggie's List and 8 more

Others

7
*Business - Industry PAC Action Fund (BIPAC Action Fund), *National Association of Home Builders, Pro-Israel America, Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC PAC), *SEAL PAC, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, VIEW PAC

Selected Contributions

Conservative

GIVEN BY CANDIDATE
13
Cecil Dolecheck (2012), Club for Growth (2014), Dan Zumbach (2013), Local, County, and District Republican Organizations (2018), Maggie's List (2020), Reclaim America PAC (2014) and 7 more
RECEIVED BY CANDIDATE
177
21st Century Majority Fund (2019), 60 Plus Association (2014), Alamo PAC (2019), American Crossroads (2014), American Legacy PAC (2014), American Principles (2014) and 171 more

Liberal

RECEIVED BY CANDIDATE
7
Airline Pilots Association (2019), American Wind Energy Association (2019), Midwest Victory PAC (2019), National Air Traffic Controllers Association (2019), Paul Singer (2019), Seth A. & Beth S. Klarman (2014), Sheet Metal Workers International Association (2012)

Summary

4%

LIBERAL

96%

CONSERVATIVE

Questionnaire

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

Right to Life

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

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Senator Ernst strongly agrees that life begins at conception and should be protected at all stages. She believes abortion should be banned. She has supported an amendment to declare a fetus a person and asked Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade. Ernst's commitment to our values are revealed in her leading efforts to eliminate taxpayer dollars from going to the nation’s largest provider of abortions and standing up to block Democrats from preventing care for babies who survive an abortion attempt. "I have supported a number of measures to protect the sanctity of life…such measures include the introduction of legislation to redirect taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood - the single largest provider of abortions in our country - to other eligible providers of women's health care like community health centers and hospitals."  Source  Source  Source

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

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  "I have supported a number of measures to protect the sanctity of life…such measures include the introduction of legislation to redirect taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood - the single largest provider of abortions in our country - to other eligible providers of women's health care like community health centers and hospitals."  Source

I support the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which requires health care providers to provide life-saving treatment for infants who survive an attempted abortion.

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Senator Ernst supports the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.  Source

Under what circumstances should abortion be allowed?

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Senator Ernst believes that abortion should be allowed "in the case of life of the mother".  Source


Economy

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

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Senator Ernst does not believe that the government should provide everyone with a livable income.  Source

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

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Senator Ernst believes the free market is the greatest job creating machine ever built, but only when the government gets out of the way. We must eliminate rules and regulations which inhibit a strong free-market economy, and get spending under control. She supports rolling back Washington-created job-killing regulations that are crushing small business.  She voted for 2017 tax cuts. Senator Ernst strongly agrees that free enterprise and the right to private property turn mankind's natural self interest into the fairest and most productive economic system there is, and are the key to national prosperity.  Source  Source  Source

How would you guarantee Social Security benefits for future generations?

(Did not answer)

What government spending would you reduce in order to balance the budget?

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  "I supported a balanced budget which set the framework to cut out-of-control spending, putting Congress on the right path toward restoring fiscal responsibility in Washington. I have also opposed efforts by many in Washington to raise the debt limit and increase spending caps. I was proud to have sponsored the bipartisan Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act...This bill puts our federal government back on track by streamlining efforts and outlining strategies to correct widespread deficiencies, lax oversight and unnecessary cost overruns incurred by preventable delays in meeting stated program goals and deadlines."  Source

Under what circumstances should taxpayers help pay off existing student loans?

(Did not answer)


Religious Liberty

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.

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Candidate’s position on this issue could not be determined by iVoterGuide research staff.

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

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Candidate’s position on this issue could not be determined by iVoterGuide research staff.

I promise to protect the freedom of Christians to share the Gospel and to practice Biblical principles.

(Did not answer)

What does "separation of church and state" mean to you?

(Did not answer)


Healthcare

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

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Senator Ernst strongly disagrees that the government's responsibility is to be sure everyone has health insurance. She strongly agrees that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) should be repealed by Congress. Ernst supports replacing it with common sense, free-market alternatives that put patients first, and health care decisions back in the hands of each of us rather than Washington bureaucrats. She supports continued coverage for pre-existing conditions while replacing ACA.  Source  Source  Source

I support the elimination of private healthcare insurance.

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  "What I would like to see is more of that marketplace, larger (insurance) pools…but it would still be run by more of a private entity rather than the federal government…We certainly don't want the government running all of our health care."  Source

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

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  "One of the bipartisan bills I supported, the CREATES Act, was passed successfully by the Senate and signed into law…This bipartisan legislation, which is now law, is designed to help drive down costs by increasing competition in the maretplace. The CREATES Act prevents brand-name pharmaceutical and biologic companies from purposely stifling competition by blocking the entry of lower-cost generic drugs into the market. I've also joined forces with my colleague...on additional legislation to lower prescription drug prices and bring transparency to the market. This bill, called the Lower Costs More Cures Act, also takes steps to protect folks with diabetes by lowering out-of-pocket costs for insulin in Medicare Part D and high-deductible plans."  Source


National Security

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

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  "As a veteran, I understand the importance a strong national defense, and taking care of those soldiers who have laid their lives on the line for our freedom."  Source

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

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  "As someone who has served in uniform in the Middle East, I believe strongly that we need to work with our partners to continue the fight against ISIS. Achieving an enduring peace and stability in the region is in our nation's interest."  Source


Immigration

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.

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  "I would tend to agree that not all areas of our border need a physical barrier…If those are adequately patrolled by Border Patrol agents, if we have the technology to monitor those areas without having a physical barrier, and can adequately respond in a timely manner to illegal border crossings - we wouldn't need a barrier in that particular area. I do think it needs to be a comprehensive plan that allows us to make smart choices on how we spend our dollars on the border."  Source

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be abolished.

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Ernst supports the continuation of ICE. "Abolishing ICE would turn the flow of illegal drugs across the border from a stream, into a monsoon. I…voice my support for the brave men and women of America's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)."  Source

State and federal funds should be denied to any public or private entity, including but not limited to sanctuary cities, that are not in compliance with immigration laws.

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Senator Ernst supported the Stop Dangerous Sanctuary Cities Act and Kate's Law. This legislation would have removed funding from sanctuary cities.  Source

Employers should be required to use E-verify to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Senator Ernst cosponsored the Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act. "E-verify is a proven, cost-effective way to ensure businesses are following our immigration laws and a tool to deter illegal immigration."  Source

Who should be allowed to immigrate to the U.S. and under what circumstances?

(Did not answer)


Education

Taxpayer-funded public education should be guaranteed through college.

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Senator Ernst believes as the cost of higher education continues to rise, we must ensure that students and families are aware of the tools and resources available to help budget and plan accordingly.  We also have to make sure student loans are accessible to students and families that finance their secondary education and that the interest rates are reasonable and affordable. She co-sponsored an act providing tax credits for contributions to scholarship funds that could be used for private school tuition. She voted to block Betsy DeVos' rule limiting debt relief for defrauded students.  Source  Source


Values

Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which is necessary for our system of limited government.

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Senator Ernst strongly agrees that Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality.  Source

I support adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as protected classes in non-discrimination laws.

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Candidate’s position on this issue could not be determined by iVoterGuide research staff.

Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  "I am a Christian. I have grown up in the Lutheran faith, worship in the church I grew up in, and continue to teach Sunday school in that very church. My faith ad beliefs continue to define who I am today as a mother, wife, soldier, state senator and community leader."  Source


Qualifications

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?

(Did not answer)

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

(Did not answer)

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or been penalized for sexual misconduct? If so, please explain.

(Did not answer)

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

(Did not answer)


Criminal Justice

Mandatory minimum sentencing should be required and enforced for violent crimes.

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Senator Ernst was "an original cosponsor of the First Step Act".  Source


2nd Amendment

What restrictions on gun ownership are needed to protect public safety?

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  "I do not believe stricter gun control for law-abiding citizens is the solution. Our efforts to prevent future tragedies must focus on enforcing current gun laws, community engagement, and advancing mental health treatment."  Source


Other Important Issues

I support BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanction) against Israel if they refuse to allow the creation of a Palestinian state.

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Senator Ernst does not support BDS.  Source

I support the legalization of recreational marijuana.

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Senator Ernst does not support the legalization of recreational marijuana.  Source

Reparations should be given to people on the basis of race.

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Senator Ernst believes that reparations is a "complicated" issue but has not taken a formal stand regarding her beliefs.  Source

The Electoral College should be abolished.

(Did not answer)

iVoterGuide Note:  Ernst supports maintaining the Electoral College.  Source

In priority order, what three areas of legislation do you propose to author or sponsor if elected?

(Did not answer)

Is racism a threat to domestic security in the United States? Why or why not?

(Did not answer)


Background

Education
  • Iowa State University, Ames, BS, 1992
  • Columbus College, Columbus, MPA, 1995
Work & Military
  • Iowa Army National Guard, Lt. Col., 22
Affiliations
  • Mamrelund Lutheran Church, Sunday school and confirmation teacher
  • PEO, Member
  • Altrusa, Member
  • Montgomery County Memorial Court of Honor, Member
  • VFW, Post 2265, Quartermaster
  • Iowa Federation of Republican Women, Member
  • Montgomery County GOP Central Committee, Co-Chair
  • Iowa Prayer Caucus, Co-Founder
Offices
  • IowaState Senate, District 12, Held 2011- Present
  • Montgomery County Auditor, Held 2005-2011
 

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