Who is Kirsten Gillibrand?
Current job: US Senator from New York. Running for president of the United States as a Democratic candidate.
Family: Gillibrand is married to venture capitalist Jonathan Gillibrand and has two children, Theodore and Henry.
Hometown: Albany, New York
Political party: Democratic
Previous jobs: Congresswoman representing New York’s 20th congressional district from 2007-2009. Corporate lawyer from 1991-2005.
Who is Gillibrand’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 Kirsten Gillibrand’s lane are, and who the broader opponents are within the party.
- Without question, Sen. Kamala Harris poses the largest immediate threat to Gillibrand’s candidacy. Of those respondents who would be satisfied with the senator from New York as nominee, 75% would also be satisfied with Harris as nominee. That’s a breathtaking 19 percentage points higher than Harris’ overall performance among Democrats, indicating Gillibrand could have difficulty assembling a base if Harris woos those voters.
- Business Insider
- Former Vice President Joe Biden is the frontrunner in this context, and 72% of those satisfied with Gillibrand as nominee would also be satisfied with Biden. That’s 6 percentage points higher than Biden’s overall satisfaction.
- Senate colleagues Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, like Harris, also outperform considerably among those satisfied with Gillibrand. 67% of those satisfied with Gillibrand are also satisfied with Warren, and 61% with Booker. Those numbers are (respectively) 23 percentage points and 17 percentage points above their general satisfaction rates, which is very high.
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 Kirsten Gillibrand’s policy positions?
- On healthcare:
- Co-sponsored Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All bill, which would provide every American with health insurance through Medicare while eliminating private insurers and virtually eliminating co-pays and deductibles.
- Introduced legislation to reduce maternal mortality rates, and a bill to penalize pharmaceutical companies for dramatically increasing drug prices.
- On immigration:
- Called to eliminate the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) in 2018.
- Supports the Obama administration’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program, which protects young people who come to the US illegally as children.
- As a congresswoman, she opposed giving amnesty to undocumented immigrants, supported boosting the number of border patrol agents and speeding deportations, and opposed issuing drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants. She has since reversed her positions on all of those issues.
- On climate change:
- Signed on to the Green New Deal resolution, which aims to transition the US to 100% clean and renewable energy in 10 years, and stimulate the economy with millions of new jobs and an expanded social safety net.
- Supports rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, taxing carbon, and requiring companies to report their climate impacts.
- On campaign finance:
- Like a growing number of Democrats, Gillibrand no longer takes donations from corporate political action committees. But she’s had a host of big-dollar private fundraisers for her 2020 campaign.
- Supports a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision and limit spending on political campaigns.
- Has called for publicly-financed federal elections.
- On abortion:
- Supports the right to an abortion and advocates for expanding access to abortion. She was an outspoken opponent of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
- Voted against a bill in the Senate that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. She has a 100% lifetime rating from Planned Parenthood.
- On LGBTQ rights:
- On women’s issues:
- On education:
- On guns:
- Supports a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. As a senator, she’s earned an “F” rating from the NRA, but when she was elected to Congress in 2006, she had an “A” rating from the group.
- On criminal justice reform:
- On trade:
- On foreign policy:
- Has long supported withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. She voted against a Senate resolution condemning Trump’s withdrawal of US troops from Syria.
- She opposed Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.
- She also opposes US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
- Calls herself “one of the strongest and most consistent supporters of Israel in the Senate.” She’s opposed to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, but voted against legislation that would outlaw BDS because of free speech concerns. She believes a two-state solution should be negotiated with Palestinians.
- On taxes and the economy:
- On social safety net:
- On democracy reforms:
What are Kirsten Gillibrand’s political successes?
- She wrote a bipartisan law, the 2012 STOCK Act, that prohibits members of Congress and their families from using non-public information to trade on the stock market.
- Played a central role in passing legislation re-creating the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.
- Led the 2010 fight to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy.
- Led Democratic senators in pressuring then-Minnesota Sen. Al Franken to resign from office amid several sexual misconduct allegations.
How much money has Kirsten Gillibrand raised?
Gillibrand’s campaign has not announced how much it has raised, as of early April.
Could Kirsten Gillibrand beat President Trump?
Referring back to INSIDER’s recurring poll, Kirsten Gillibrand overall is believed to be a weaker candidate in a general election against Donald Trump compared to the whole field, but a large majority of respondents are still unsure about how she’d perform so there’s plenty of opportunity to change perceptions.
Based on responses from Democratic primary voters, for a typical candidate surveyed 36% of respondents think they’d win, 9% think they’d lose, and 55% are unsure.
While it’s early, Gillibrand isn’t performing at that level among respondents: 19% think she’d beat Trump, 13% thinking she’d lose, and 68% are unsure.
Read more of our best stories on Kirsten Gillibrand:
- Democrats are torn over whether Kirsten Gillibrand can be their 2020 savior from Trump
- I don’t think it’s a contradiction: 2020 candidate Kirsten Gillibrand says fundraiser at Pfizer exec’s home shouldn’t be a cause for alarm
- New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announces she’s running for president in 2020
- What women eyeing a run for the White House can expect from voters and the media in 2020