In the final weeks before the 2012 election, NPR explores the major issues facing the next president of the United States.
October 26, 2012 Some critics are puzzled by Mitt Romney's opposition to the Affordable Care Act because the law is a close cousin of the measure he signed while governor of Massachusetts. But others counter that the private sector is best left to make the changes imposed by President Obama's signature achievement.
October 25, 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has accepted the scientific consensus that the planet is warming up. But he has not accepted another element of that consensus: that humans are largely responsible. His position is well-grounded in politics, but not so in logic.
October 18, 2012 President Obama says he will slow the growth in defense spending. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to spend more. Romney says that "peace through strength" will make the U.S. safer. The question, though, is how much more Romney's plan would cost.
October 18, 2012 Stymied by Congress early on in his term while trying to advance his climate policies, President Obama has resorted to taking incremental actions that don't need congressional approval. Mitt Romney doesn't mention climate change in his energy plan, and favors cheap energy sources like coal.
October 16, 2012 Medicare is emerging as the most important health care voting issue — more important than even the Affordable Care Act. And with 10,000 baby boomers qualifying for the program every day, whoever wins the election will have to find some way to rein in spending.
October 15, 2012 Neither President Obama nor Republican Mitt Romney has focused much attention on the poor. They've talked about creating jobs and opportunity, but mostly for the middle class. Advocates say Obama's stimulus spending has helped, but Republicans argue that government aid helps keep people in poverty.
October 13, 2012 The right to choose the school you want your child to attend has been the subject of court battles and bitter political debates. Still, both President Obama and Mitt Romney have made school choice a cornerstone of their efforts to reform public education.