Today, millions of Americans turn to the polls to decide who will be the next president. It is likely that Republicans will continue to have the majority in the House of Representatives; the Democrats will also most likely maintain their majority in the Senate. What does this mean for the next president? A divided government. For the next two years it's very probable that Congress will remain in deadlock. Regardless of who wins the presidency, this means there will be few possibilities for real change. President Obama would continue to face partisanship, and Mitt Romney would be denied the ability to make his campaign promises come true.
What this means is a government that will be limited in its ability to make the necessary decisions. It appears that in these troubling times, Americans refuse to place their trust on one party alone. It makes sense that Americans do not want to give any single party complete stewardship, but the effects may be disastrous. Improving the economy will require the combined effort of both parties and this seems unlikely. But not all hope is lost. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell stated that the Republican top priority would be to make Obama a one-term president.
Let’s propose that President Obama wins, then maybe Republicans will end their obstructionism. It may be wishful thinking but it is plausible that once Republicans realize that their future is 2016 they will consider the possibility of working across the aisle. This of course does not mean they will give Obama a blank check to do as he pleases, but maybe, just maybe, they will be more willing to cooperate.
So the election matters, even if the status quo is maintained. If Americans give Obama four more years, than one reason for Republican obstructionism would no longer be valid. Senator Mitch McConnell and others may find it reasonable and even necessary to fix the real challenges instead of blocking, every single proposal.