A College Student's Cheat Sheet to Election 2012

With Election Day swiftly approaching, it's becoming more and more essential to make sure you're in-the-know about the candidates and their stances on different issues. Check out our cheat sheet to the election to ensure you're an informed voter when November 6th rolls around.

Presidential Candidates
Candidate: Barack Obama
Running mate: Joe Biden
Party: Democratic

Candidate: Mitt Romney
Running mate: Paul Ryan
Party: Republican

Health Care


Obama is a continuing supporter of his self-implemented Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. "Obamacare." The ACA seeks to give millions more Americans health care coverage. Its full provisions are still undergoing implementation, but it already prevents insurance companies from setting lifetime limits and denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, provides for free services such as STD screenings and contraception and allows those under 26-years-old to stay on their parents' health care plans. Click here to see the act's full provisions and their implementation timeline.


Romney's main health care prerogative is to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The model he would like to put in place is based on the Massachusetts health care law he implemented while serving as governor of the state. The plan is actually pretty similar to Obamacare, but would be applied on a state-by-state basis rather than on the federal level. Read about Romney's full health care plan here.

To learn more about each candidate's stance on health care, check out this article or OnTheIssues's website.

The Economy


Obama's economic policies focus on boosting the middle class. Specifically, he wants to extend tax cuts for Americans who make under $250,000 a year and increase tax rates on wealthy Americans. He is also concentrated on passing policies to improve America's manufacturing industry and has stated that he will create one million new manufacturing jobs by the end of 2016 if re-elected.


Romney wants to cut taxes for all Americans rather than a specific group. He would also like to significantly lower federal spending in order to decrease the national debt. If elected, he has stated that he will require approximately $500 billion a year in spending cuts by 2016.


Obama has made it clear that he is all about educational reforms. He plans to transition the bulk of the burden of student loans from college students to the federal government by ending subsidies to bankers, increasing Pell Grant funding, decreasing required loan payments and forgiving debts. By 2020, he would like the United States to be the world leader in college degree attainment.


Romney's plan for education reform is called A Chance For Every Child and involves shifting the responsibility of student loans away from the federal government and instead splitting it between students, their families, the federal government and the private sector. He wants to ensure students are well-enough informed to be able to choose a college and borrowing plan that is affordable for them.

A more in-depth explanation of the two candidates' stances on student loans can be found here.

To read more about the candidates' stances on important issues such as women's rights and same-sex marriage, visit HerCampus.com.