It's been a long, hard slog, but the presidential race is finally coming to a close (back to good ole' dish detergent and cereal commercials!). And for young people especially, the outcome could have a huge impact. There are some vast differences between what another four years of Democratic President Barack Obama will look like and a Republican Mitt Romney presidency.
So yes, it matters!
Now, don't get me wrong. The president is not all powerful. Some of the more grandiose campaign promises made by both candidates are just not feasible. Remember that the president, whoever he may be - can't just snap his fingers and create new policies. There are plenty of limitations and checks on his authority. That's the point of the whole balance of power thing that the Founders thought up way back when. The president still must work with Congress and the courts, and make compromises in pushing his agenda. There's also just a limited amount of time to get stuff done, not to mention lots of unforeseen distractions that pop up on the job.Check out this animation for more explanation on the limits of presidential power.
But that all said, the president's still got some serious sway. He is, after all, the leader of the richest, most powerful nation in the world. And presidents try very hard to fulfill their campaign promises. The winning candidate will almost certainly make all efforts to move his agenda forward. And many of the campaign promises made by Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are starkly different. Here are seven issues - selected from a list compiled by the Associated Press - that will have a huge impact on today's youth:
1. Abortion and birth control
Obama strongly supports access to abortion. He opposes efforts at both the federal and state level to limit that right. Under his healthcare law, contraceptives must be available at no cost for woman enrolled in workplace health plans.