This article presents an unbiased comparison of the political positions and policies of John Gregg and Mike Pence, the Republican and Democratic party candidates respectively for the 2012 gubernatorial elections in Indiana.

Comparison chart

John Gregg versus Mike Pence comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartJohn GreggMike Pence
  • current rating is 3.91/5
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(108 ratings)
  • current rating is 3.14/5
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(99 ratings)
John GreggMike Pence
Political party Democrat Republican
Healthcare policy Aims to make healthcare more affordable and accessible. Opposes Obama’s health care bill.
Tax policy Eliminate corporate taxes on Indiana businesses and increase tax credits. Supports the elimination of income and estate tax, to be replaced with 23% sales tax.
Energy policy Supports investing in renewable energy sources. Supports increased offshore drilling. Opposes increased regulations on energy companies.
Stand on regulation of federal spending Stance not clear. Cosponsored the Spending Limit Amendment, which would limit federal spending to 1/5th of the American economy.
Stand on stimulus and bailouts Stance not clear. Opposed Wall Street Bailout.
Education policy Wants to reemphasize vocational training and increase funding for education. Opposes increased federal funding for education. Opposes national level testing.
Date of birth September 6, 1954 June 7, 1959
Immigration policy Stance not clear Opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants and wants to increase border security
Stand on Iran Stance not clear Supports economic sanctions.
Stand on Iraq Stance not clear Opposed removal of troops.
Stand on gun control Opposes increased gun control. Opposes increased gun control.
Hometown Sandborn, Indiana. Columbus, Indiana.

Early Life and Career

John Gregg was born in Sandborn in Southwest Indiana. He started to run his own soda shoppe at 15, got a BA from Indiana University in 1976, and earned his JD from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1984. He ran for the Indiana House of Representatives in 1986 and became the House Majority Leader in 1990. In 1996, he became Speaker, a position he held for 6 years. After leaving office, he was interim president of Vincennes University for two years, and then returned to private law practice.

Mike Pence was born in Columbus, Indiana and earned his JD from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1986. He is the U.S. Representative for Indiana’s 6th district.

Differences in Economic Policy

Tax Policy

John Gregg plans to eliminate corporate income tax on Indiana-based businesses and to create more tax credits for businesses that create new high-paying jobs to boost the economy, covering the cost by taxing online retailers such as [1]

Mike Pence supports the simplification of the tax system and supported making Bush’s tax cuts permanent. He supported a bill to replace income tax and estate tax with a 23% sales tax. [2]

Stimulus Spending and Bailouts

John Gregg has not spoken about his position on corporate bailouts.

Mike Pence opposed the Wall Street Bailout in 2008 and bailouts for companies such as GM. [3]


John Gregg has not spoken about regulation of federal spending.

Mike Pence cosponsored the Spending Limit Amendment, which would limit federal spending to 1/5th of the American economy. [4]

Healthcare Policy

John Gregg aims to make healthcare affordable and accessible for all people in Indiana by encouraging businesses and individuals to pool to buy health insurance, lowering costs and reducing the number of uninsured. [5]

Mike Pence opposes any takeover of healthcare by the federal government, including Obama’s health care bill. [6]

Social Issues


John Gregg opposes abortion. [7]

Mike Pence opposes abortion. He voted yes on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion and sponsored a bill to prevent federal funding of Planned Parenthood. [8]


John Gregg has not spoken about immigration policy.

Mike Pence opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants, and supports increased border security and stricter enforcement of laws against hiring illegal aliens. He also supports a guest worker program for individuals who wish to work legally in the US. He supported the idea of building a fence along the Mexican border and opposes Birthright Citizenship. [9]

Gay rights

John Gregg opposes gay marriage. [10]

Mike Pence opposes gay marriage and supports the Defense of Marriage Act. He voted against a law to prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation. [11]

Women’s Rights

John Gregg opposes abortion, but supports the funding of Planned Parenthood for women’s health issues. [12]

Mike Pence opposes funding of Planned Parenthood. He opposed a bill requiring four weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees. [13] [14]

Education Policy

John Gregg wants to re-emphasize vocational education in Indiana. He wants to reform No Child Left Behind to give teachers more flexibility, and he is spearheading the Reinvesting in Indiana Schools campaign to encourage more students in Indiana to complete high-school and to go on to earn an associate’s degree. [15]

Mike Pence opposes additional funding for federal education and for grants for Black and Hispanic colleges. He supports prayer in schools and opposes mandatory tests for students. [16]

Gun Control

John Gregg opposes additional legislation regarding gun control. [17]

Mike Pence received an A rating from the NRA. He wants to loosen restrictions on interstate gun purchases and opposes lawsuits against gunmakers and sellers for the misuse of guns. [18]

Energy Policy

John Gregg supports investing in Indiana coal and alternative energy.

Mike Pence supports increased offshore drilling and opposes tax incentives for renewable energy. He opposes regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

Environmental Policy

John Gregg will offer tax incentives to companies that reduce their impact on the environment. [19]

Mike Pence opposed funding for Amtrak improvements and supports the declassification of “critical habitat” for endangered species. [20]

Differences in Foreign Policy

Position on Iran

John Gregg has not spoken about his stance on Iran.

Mike Pence supports sanctions against Iran. [21]

Position on Iraq

John Gregg has not spoken about his stance on Iraq.

Mike Pence initially supported the resolution authorizing military action in Iraq. He opposed removing troops from Iraq in 2007. [22]


The first of three debates was held on October 10, 2012 at the Zionsville Performing Arts Center in Zionsville. Libertarian Rupert Boneham also participated. The full video is presented below (the debate begins near the 4 minute mark).

Opinion Poll Ratings

Poll source Date(s)
Gregg (D)
Pence (R)
Market Research Insight August 6-9, 2012 32% 50%
Howey Politics/DePauw University March 26-27, 2012 31% 44%


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