Voting by the Issues: Where Each Party Stands in 2022

Our guide contains a breakdown of the most important issues facing college students in 2022 as laid out in the official Democratic and Republican party platforms.

October 27, 2020 · Updated on May 5, 2022

Edited by Brenna Swanston
Voting by the Issues: Where Each Party Stands in 2022

Following 2020's controversial election, political parties in the U.S. seem more divided than ever. That is one reason why it's vital for voters, including college students, to understand where each major party stands on the issues that matter to them.

Even as the country seems to be turning the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, other key issues — such as inflation, energy prices, and foreign policy — are fueling national discussion around the 2022 midterm elections.

To help keep you informed and ensure you cast an educated vote in the upcoming midterm elections, we've put together this resource page. Here, we outline the Democratic and Republican parties' positions and policies on the major issues facing Americans today.

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Where U.S. Political Parties Stand on the Issues

Education

Democratic Party:

Guarantees universal early childhood education Supports high-quality K-12 schools across America Supports making higher education affordable and accessible Supports student loan debt relief Intends to provide world-class education in every ZIP code

Republican Party:

Rejects a one-size-fits-all approach to education Supports providing parents with a broad selection of educational options Opposes the the imposition of national standards and assessments Supports a world-class education system Supports learning options such as homeschooling, magnet schools, charter schools, career and technical schools, private schools, and online schools Supports other options for higher education aside from traditional four-year institutions including online universities, work-based learning in the private sector, and technical institutions Supports restoring private sector participation in student financing across higher education
Economy

Democratic Party:

Intends to protect workers and create jobs Supports raising wages and promoting workers' rights Supports robust work-family policies Invests in job creation Supports a fair system of international trade for workers Supports making home ownership more attainable for every American Intends to reform tax codes to benefit working families Intends to end poverty

Republican Party:

Intends to rebuild the economy and create jobs Supports pro-growth tax codes Opposes retroactive taxation Opposes massive trade deficits Supports efficient markets where consumers can obtain loans at reasonable rates based on market conditions
Healthcare

Democratic Party:

Intends to achieve universal, affordable, quality healthcare Supports bringing down the price of prescription drugs Supports expanding access to mental health and substance abuse treatment Supports expanding long-term care services Supports protecting maternal, Native American, and LGBTQ+ health

Republican Party:

Supports preserving Medicare and Medicaid Supports restoring patient control and preserving quality in healthcare Plans to repeal Obamacare Supports access to safe and affordable healthcare for seniors, making home healthcare a priority in public policy Supports reforming the FDA to restore it as the premier scientific health agency
Environment

Democratic Party:

Plans to integrate climate change into foreign policy and national security strategies to restore U.S. global climate leadership Intends to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement Supports reviving and expanding climate-related foreign assistance, including recommitting to the Green Climate Fund Aims to protect our oceans through fisheries management programs Supports critical climate research around the world

Republican Party:

Promotes sustainable and active forest management to keep communities safe and improve forest health Supports exploring public land to find new ways to store electricity Supports developing marketable forms of energy in a free economy without subsidies, including hydropower, nuclear power, coal, natural gas, and oil Supports shifting the responsibility for environmental regulation away from the federal bureaucracy and toward individual states Supports the original intent of the Clean Water Act
Immigration

Democratic Party:

Ensures immigration policies account for the needs of LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers Supports creating a humane immigration system Supports rescinding programs to build a wall on the southern border of the U.S. Supports terminating immigration travel bans Supports enacting legislation to prevent future presidents from putting travel bans in place again on immigrants

Republican Party:

Supports an immigration system that protects all American working families and their wages, including immigrants Encourages preserving immigrants' native languages but making English the nation's official language Supports immigration policy that serves the national interest of the United States Supports building a wall along the southern border to protect all ports of entry Supports limiting asylum to cases of religious, ethnic, or political cases
Criminal Justice

Democratic Party:

Supports reducing the number of Americans held in jails and prisons Supports rooting out structural and systemic racism in our criminal justice system and society Supports re-issuing federal guidance from the Department of Education and the Department of Justice to prevent the disparate disciplinary treatment of minority children in school settings Supports doing away with incarcerating minors Supports ensuring real accountability for systemic and individual misconduct in police departments

Republican Party:

Supports the immediate dismissal and even prosecution of department officials who violate their oath of office Supports the president restoring the public's trust in civil order and law enforcement Supports the president refraining from instilling division and distrust between the people and the police Supports being cautious with the creation of new crimes and supports purging old crimes Supports the death penalty
Gun Control

Democratic Party:

Supports evidence-based programs that prevent gun deaths Aims to make mental health care more accessible Supports suicide reduction initiatives Supports strengthening protection against domestic violence Supports enacting universal background checks and ending online sales of guns and ammunition Supports passing legislation that requires guns to be stored safely in homes

Republican Party:

Opposes efforts to revoke individuals' right to bear arms Supports Second Amendment rights Supports background checks on commercial gun purchases Supports firearm reciprocity legislation Opposes restrictions on gun magazine capacity Opposes bans on the most popular and common modern rifle, the AR-15
LGBTQ+ Rights

Democratic Party:

Supports efforts to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic Supports restoring nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people Supports full access to healthcare and other resources for LGBTQ+ people living with HIV/AIDS Supports enacting the Equality Act to outlaw discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in education, access to credit, public accommodations, housing, federal programs, and jury services Ensures federally funded programs for older adults include LGBTQ+ seniors Ensures that all nonbinary and transgender people can obtain official government identification documents that accurately represent their gender identity

Republican Party:

Supports religious liberties over protection of the LGBTQ+ community Supports legislation to ban transgender troops from the military Supports healthcare providers in refusing care based on religious beliefs in regards to the LGBTQ+ community Supports legislation that removes nondiscrimination protections for transgender people trying to access healthcare and insurance
Reproductive Rights

Democratic Party:

Supports advancing and protecting reproductive rights, health, and justice Supports access to high-quality reproductive health services, including safe and legal abortion Supports restoring federal funding for Planned Parenthood Supports expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage to a full year after giving birth Opposes restrictions on medication abortion care that are not consistent with the most recent scientific and medical evidence

Republican Party:

Supports the idea that an unborn child has fundamental rights to life Supports a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation that makes it clear that the Fourteenth Amendment also applies to children before they are born Opposes the use of public funds to either promote or perform abortion Encourages Congress and all states to obtain, transfer, or sell fetal tissues from elective abortions for research Supports assisting, not penalizing, people who face unplanned pregnancies
Foreign Policy

Democratic Party:

Commits to a foreign policy that accelerates domestic renewal Supports placing America's core values at the center of foreign policy Supports rooting a disciplined foreign policy that keeps the needs and aspirations of America's middle class in mind to create a more dynamic and fair society Supports putting diplomacy in the hands of professionals prepared to advance American interests on the central issues of our time Supports integrating climate change into our foreign policy

Republican Party:

Supports increased spending for national defense Prioritizes America's national interests Supports maintaining relationships with America's allies and challenging enemies Intends to continue supporting Israel unequivocally Supports U.S. leadership in the Asian Pacific Supports the defense of international religious freedom

Disclaimer: BestColleges is not affiliated with any political parties, and none of the information on this page is intended as or should be construed as legal advice. The information contained on this page is for general informational purposes only.