The flagging economy has been the clear-cut No. 1 issue for this year's presidential race.
But some other concerns are just timeless.
"Don't underestimate the pull of safety and security in the minds of American voters," said Candy Crowley, host of CNN's "State of the Union" and moderator of last week's presidential debate. "There is no issue closer to home and hearth than the safety and security of your family. That is the most basic question the federal government has to answer."
President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney face off Monday night in the last of the three presidential debates, and they will be looking to convince voters that they can protect America and American interests abroad better than their opponent.
Foreign policy will be the focus in Boca Raton, Florida, and there is plenty to talk about. There's an ongoing war in Afghanistan, civil war in Syria and a tense standoff between Iran and Israel. Terrorism is still an issue, as evidenced by the recent embassy attack in Libya. And then there is a perceived threat from China.
Whoever wins this election will have to make decisions on all of these global issues -- issues that might affect you personally.
Here's a look at these likely debate topics and what's at stake for Americans.
Afghanistan: Will the war really be over soon?
Obama has promised to withdraw combat troops in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, 13 years after the war began. Romney has said he would generally abide by the deadline, although he said he would solicit the advice of military commanders first.
The plan, already under way, is to withdraw troops while gradually handing over power to Afghan forces.
But the feasibility of that plan is being questioned after some recent setbacks, including a rise in "green-on-blue" insider attacks.
"Insider attacks are particularly worrying because they call into question the most critical pillar of the Obama administration's Afghanistan strategy, which is to train and build a capable and credible Afghan force that can maintain security and prevent the return of the Taliban and al Qaeda after foreign troops' departure in two years," said Ahmad Majidyar, a senior research associate at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute. "Training and mentoring requires close partnership and is impossible without trust."
Will Afghanistan be ready by the end of 2014? Or will more U.S. troops be needed longer to oversee security and ensure a successful handoff?
Polls have shown that most Americans are tired of the war. A CNN/ORC International survey from March indicated that only 25% of Americans favored the war, and 55% said the U.S. should remove all of its troops before 2014.
"We cannot fight wars by polls," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in response. "If we do that we're in deep trouble. We have to operate based on what we believe is the best strategy to achieve the mission that we are embarked on. And the mission here is to safeguard our country by ensuring that the Taliban and al Qaeda never again find a safe haven in Afghanistan."
Iran: Are we nearing the 'red line'?
While the U.S. tries to end one war, it is trying to prevent another.
There are fears that Israel might stage a pre-emptive attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, drawing the U.S. into conflict. Or that the U.S. might be the one to attack to protect its ally Israel.
Iran insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but Israel and many Western leaders believe Iran is trying to build atomic weapons.
At the U.N. General Assembly last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "It's not a question of whether Iran will get the bomb. The question is at what stage can we stop Iran from getting the bomb."
This "red line" is under dispute. Experts and policymakers differ about the time Iran would need to develop a nuclear weapon. But the clock is ticking.
"America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so," Obama said. "But that time is not unlimited.
"Make no mistake, a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained."
Romney agrees, although his red line might be sooner than Obama's. Israel is also taking a much more urgent approach.
"Just imagine Iranian aggression with nuclear weapons," Netanyahu said at the U.N. "Who among you would feel safe in the Middle East? Who would be safe in Europe? Who would be safe in America? Who would be safe anywhere?"