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Obama vs Romney presidential campaign: The main issues

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For international students studying abroad in the US, amongst the studying, football and exams there’s one other hot topic dominating the social scene: the 2012 Presidential election. Although international students aren’t able to vote, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be well informed about the issues. For political science majors, it’s one of the best learning experiences (plus it’s free!) and our student editor covers the major issues.


Core issues they agree on:

Foreign Policy –both agree that the US should intervene in the affairs of foreign countries as long as there is a threat to America’s national security. They also both believe the war in Afghanistan should not end until the mission is considered ‘accomplished’.

Economy – Both candidates believe the federal government should subsidize US farmers, shouldn’t raise the federal minimum wage (Obama says no, Romney says let the states decide individually) and those who are able to work but are receiving welfare should be required to work.

Health care – Both support the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).


Core issues that they don’t agree on:

Abortion and Birth Control – Romney is Pro-Life except for instances of rape, incest or danger to mother or child, and Obama is Pro-Choice.

Gay Rights – Romney strictly believe marriage should be defined as ‘between a man and a woman’, whereas Obama supports gay marriage.

Immigration – Ronmey doesn’t support children born of illegal immigrants (but not born in the US) should be granted US citizenship unless they serve in the US military. Obama believes that illegal children immigrants should be granted citizenship but not their parents. Romney doesn’t support temporary amnesty for illegal immigrant whereas Obama does.

Energy and environment – Romney doesn’t believe global warming is a legitimate occurrence, Obama believes global warming exists and needs attention.

There are more issues that are just as important, but these are the current topics that have been getting the most attention. The importance of a united or opposing front on the issues is what drives a US presidential election. People are going to vote for the candidate that stands for the same point of view as they do (or closely related view).

As the presidential election always comes down to a democrat and republican, each is known for being more conservative or liberal. The presidential race would lose its meaning if the candidates didn’t oppose each other in at least a few core areas. If they didn’t the voters wouldn’t feel as if they had a voice or that other points of view matter. No candidate is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ but merely standing for their views in order to provide America with a choice.

However, at the end of the day these issues and what is said about them are promises. They are not guarantees that the words will be put into action when one candidate gets elected over the other. Students and voters alike should take heed when discussing the issues, it’s all good and well when something is promised but in actuality how easy or difficult would it be to go through with the proposed action?


More information:

If you wish to pursue a career in the world of politics, a degree in Political Science might be the first step. Check our database of courses.

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