Elections Disadvantage Index by M0Cl9l


									GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                               Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                                            1

                                                       Elections Disadvantage Index
    Debating the Elections Disadvantage ............................................................................................................................. 2

1NC — Shell
    1NC — Elections DA ........................................................................................................................................................ 5

2NC/1NR — Extensions
    They Say: “Romney Will Win” ........................................................................................................................................ 8
    They Say: “People Like Transportation Infrastructure” ............................................................................................... 11
    They Say: “Helping the Economy Good for Obama” .................................................................................................... 13
    They Say: “Voters Will Choose on Values” ................................................................................................................... 15
    They Say: “Romney Won’t Label” ................................................................................................................................ 16
    They Say: “No Impact to Labeling” ............................................................................................................................... 19
    Trade War Hurts Global Cooperation .......................................................................................................................... 20
    Trade War Hurts Economy ........................................................................................................................................... 21
    Trade War Increases Risk of Conflict ............................................................................................................................ 22
    They Say: “HSR is Popular” ........................................................................................................................................... 23
    They Say: “Public Transit is Popular” ........................................................................................................................... 24
    They Say: “NextGen is Popular” ................................................................................................................................... 27

2AC — Frontline
    2AC — Elections DA ...................................................................................................................................................... 28
    HSR is Popular .............................................................................................................................................................. 32
    Public Transit is Popular ............................................................................................................................................... 33
    NextGen is Popular ....................................................................................................................................................... 34

1AR — Extensions
    Extend: “Romney Will Win” ......................................................................................................................................... 35
    Extend: “People Like Transportation Infrastructure” .................................................................................................. 37
    Extend: “Helping the Economy Good for Obama” ....................................................................................................... 38
    Extend: “Voters Will Choose on Values” ...................................................................................................................... 39
    Extend: “Romney Won’t Label” ................................................................................................................................... 40
    Extend: “No Impact to Labeling” .................................................................................................................................. 41
GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                 Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                              2

                             Debating the Elections Disadvantage (1/3)
Disadvantage Description:
The Elections DA argues that there are important political consequences to passing the plan. If the plan is passed, voters
will backlash against President Obama because they view spending on transportation infrastructure as wasteful and not
a good government priority. As a result, they will vote for Mitt Romney instead of President Obama in the November
presidential elections.

If elected, Romney will label China a currency manipulator, something President Obama has declined to do.
Unfortunately, that choice will cause China to start a trade war with the United States and would substantially damage
US-China relations. Strong US-China relations are critical to solve a host of global problems including proliferation,
terrorism, and climate change.

Affirmative Answers:
The affirmative will argue that Mitt Romney is more likely than President Obama to win the election based on current
predictions. They will also contend that, far from being unpopular with the public, spending on transportation
infrastructure and jobs stimulus legislation is overwhelmingly popular with the American public, so is more likely to
convince the public to vote for President Obama than to vote against him. In addition, according to the affirmative,
voters are more persuaded by the overall values and personalities of the two candidates, not their position on any
particular issue.

On the impact level, the affirmative will argue that Romney, if elected, would not label China a currency manipulator —
his threats are merely campaign rhetoric. Moreover, China would not start a trade war with the United States; they are
constrained both politically and economically from doing so.

Electoral College — a process of electing the president. It is a compromise between Congressional vote and direct
popular vote — results are determined by state and then the state’s electors cast their votes based on the popular vote
in that state. According to the National Archives, “The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270
electoral votes is required to elect the President.” Each state is allotted the same number of votes as its congressional
delegation — the number of senators plus representatives for that state, so the number is based on the population of the
state. For the purposes of debate, the affirmative and negative will contest whether President Obama or Mitt Romney are
ahead in the predictions for the Electoral College vote.

Currency Manipulator — a claim that another country has altered the value of its currency for the benefit of its
economy. The United States claims that China has kept the value of its currency (the renminbi, or RMB) artificially low,
inflating its exports and trade surplus. The US wants the Chinese government to appreciate (or increase in value) the
RMB. For the purposes of debate, the negative will argue that Romney will officially label China a currency manipulator
instead of merely pressuring China absent that label. For more information on the situation with China’s currency, see:

Trade Sanctions (Sanctions) — trade penalties levied on one country by another. These include “tariffs, trade barriers,
import duties, and import or export quotas” (Wikipedia). For example, a country might decide that another country is
unfairly competing in a particular market. As a result, they might levy tariffs (fees) on the goods imported from that
country. For the purposes of debate, the negative will argue that labeling China a currency manipulator might cause
China to sanction the United States, reducing the flow of trade.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                 Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                              3
                             Debating the Elections Disadvantage (2/3)
Trade War — a trade war is when trade sanctions applied by one country cause retaliation by the country that was
sanctioned, escalating into a situation where both countries increase trade restrictions to damage the other country’s
economy. For the purposes of debate, the negative will argue that if the United States labels China a currency
manipulator, they will respond with their own sanctions, creating a trade war.

Currency Valuation — the process to compare the value of one country’s currency against another. In order to trade,
countries must be able to determine how much a particular amount of one currency is worth in another currency. For
example, if the United States wants to trade with the United Kingdom, economists must be able to determine how much
a given amount of dollars is worth in British Pounds. The valuation of currency involves assessing the import and export
rates of each country. For the purposes of debate, the negative will argue that Mitt Romney believes that China’s
currency is undervalued, which will cause him to label it a currency manipulator.

Proliferation (Weapons Proliferation) — the situation where countries build up their weapons supply, particularly
nuclear weapons. There are two main types of proliferation: vertical and horizontal. Vertical proliferation involves
current nuclear powers increasing their nuclear stockpile. Horizontal proliferation involves non-nuclear powers
acquiring nuclear capabilities. For the purposes of debate, the negative will argue that strong US-China relations are
critical to deter non-nuclear countries from obtaining nuclear weapons for the first time.

Independents — voters who are not strongly identified with either the Democratic or Republican party. These voters
are considered more easily persuaded by political campaigns and are thus a common target of advertising. For the
purposes of debate, the affirmative and negative will debate about whether independent voters like the plan or not and
whether this will influence their votes in November.

Swing Voters — voters who have not yet made up their minds or who might still change their minds about who to vote
for. Both presidential campaigns are making a strong push to attract swing voters to vote for them. For the purposes of
debate, the affirmative and negative will contest whether swing voters like the plan.

Swing States — states where the election is particularly close, making it possible for a small shift in a candidate’s
popularity to change which candidate wins the state. The campaigns are focusing particular attention on this small
number of states because they are most likely to influence the overall result. In the 2012 election, examples include:
Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Ohio. For the purposes of debate, the affirmative and negative will contest whether
the plan has an influence in swing states.

Turnout (Voter Turnout) — the total number of voters who participates in an election. For the purposes of debate, the
affirmative and negative will argue about whether the plan increases the turnout of a particular party’s voters.

Voter Suppression — tactics to discourage people from voting. This can include persuading particular groups of people
not to vote or passing laws that make it more difficult for people to vote. For the purposes of debate, the affirmative
will argue that Republican voter suppression laws will deter many democrats from voting, increasing Mitt Romney’s
chances of success.

Stimulus — A fiscal policy by the government to increase demand (see “aggregate demand”) in the economy in order to
boost economic growth, especially in a time of recession. Advocates of government stimulus are often associated with
the school of economics known as Keynesianism. For the purposes of debate, the affirmative will argue that the plan is
popular because it serves as an economic stimulus.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                              Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                           4

                            Debating the Elections Disadvantage (3/3)
Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act (The Tariff Act of 1930) — a law passed in 1930 that raised US tariffs on thousands of imported
goods. Other countries responded in kind to protect their own markets (“protectionism”) which arguably worsened the
Great Depression and increased tensions before World War II. For the purposes of debate, the negative will argue that
the Smoot-Hawley Act is a historical example of trade sanctions worsening other global problems. The affirmative will
argue that this historical example is misapplied — the Smoot-Hawley Act did not have these negative ramifications.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                        Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                                     5

                                                          1NC — Elections DA (1/3)
First, Obama slightly ahead on key indicators but the race is still close — new issues could decide
the election
Silver 8/9 — Nate Silver, chief pollster for New York Times’ 538 election polling center. Regarded as top-level pollster based on distinct
mathematical models chief pollster for New York Times’ 538 election polling center. Regarded as top-level pollster based on distinct mathematical
models, 2012 (“Aug. 9: National Polls Shouldn’t Panic Romney,” FiveThirtyEight Blog, Available Online at:
http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/09/aug-9-national-polls-shouldnt-panic-romney/#more-32980, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

                           polls are just one of the things you should be looking at to make an election forecast. The other
Even then, however, national
critical factors are state polls and the economic numbers. Our model hedges against the national polls by combining the state polls with them,
and then also, hedges against the polls in general by combining them with our economic index. Of these three things, the national polls probably have the least
influence on the forecast at this stage of the campaign.
            model has shown a favorable trend for Mr. Obama lately. His chances of winning the Electoral College rose to
To be clear, the
73.3 percent on Wednesday, a new high. His projected margin of victory over Mr. Romney in the national popular vote, 2.8 percentage points, is also a new
But the shift is more because the consensus of evidence has been slightly favorable to Mr. Obama than any one piece of
evidence pointing toward a major inflection point in the race.
The economic numbers are still very mixed, but the jobs report was better in July, personal income growth has been accelerating and the stock
market has been rallying. I’m certainly not going to render a prediction about the long-term future of the euro zone, but it now seems less likely that it will blow up
soon enough to substantially affect the election in November. (Perhaps whichever candidate wins will have a huge mess on his hands in 2013 instead.)
Mr. Obama has also had a fairly strong set of polls from swing states. It’s just not a good sign for Mr. Romney that he’s down in almost all
polls of Ohio, and more often than not, in polls of Florida and Virginia as well — although he has posted some better numbers in Colorado recently.
Finally, and despite my earlier caution about how time in a campaign should be measured on a relative rather than absolute scale, we are seeing some time tick off
the clock. Mr. Obama is almost certainly ahead right now, so any day that the status quo is preserved is basically a good one for him.
Despite that, it is doubtful that Mr. Obama leads by as many as four or six points now (as some other polling aggregation Web sites
suggest), and even more doubtful that he is seven or nine points ahead.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                       Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                                    6
                                                          1NC — Elections DA (2/3)
Second, transportation infrastructure spending is unpopular with voters – the public fears
government waste and doesn’t perceive the benefits.
Orski 12 — Ken Orski, editor and publisher of Innovation NewsBriefs, an influential and widely read transportation newsletter, now in its 20th
year of publication. Orski has worked professionally in the field of transportation for close to 40 years. He served as Associate Administrator of the
Urban Mass Transportation Administration under President Nixon and President Ford. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and
holds a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School (“Why Pleas To Increase Infrastructure Funding Fall On Deaf Ears,” NewGeography, 02/05/2012,
Available Online at: http://www.newgeography.com/content/002662-why-pleas-increase-infrastructure-funding-fall-deaf-ears, Accessed

Finding the resources to keep transportation infrastructure in good order is a more difficult challenge. Unlike traditional utilities,
roads and bridges have no rate payers to fall back on. Politicians and the public seem to attach a low priority to fixing aging

 transportation infrastructure and this translates into a lack of support for raising fuel taxes or imposing tolls. Investment in
infrastructure did not even make the top ten list of public priorities in the latest Pew Research Center survey of domestic concerns. Calls by
two congressionally mandated commissions to vastly increase transportation infrastructure spending have gone ignored. So have repeated
pleas by advocacy groups such as Building America’s Future, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. Nor has the need to
increase federal spending on infrastructure come up in the numerous policy debates held by the Republican presidential candidates. Even President Obama seems to
have lost his former fervor for this issue. In his last State-of-the-Union message he made only a perfunctory reference to "rebuilding roads and bridges." High-speed
rail and an infrastructure bank, two of the President’s past favorites, were not even mentioned. Why pleas to increase infrastructure funding fall on deaf ears There
                         to increase infrastructure spending do not resonate with the public. One widely held view is that
are various theories why appeals
people simply do not trust the federal government to spend their tax dollars wisely . As proof, evidence is cited that a great
majority of state and local transportation ballot measures do get passed, because voters know precisely where their tax money is going. No doubt there is much truth
to that. Indeed, thanks to local funding initiatives and the use of tolling, state transportation agencies are becoming increasingly more self-reliant and less dependent
on federal funding Another    explanation, and one that I find highly plausible, has been offered by Charles Lane, editorial writer for the Washington Post. Wrote
Lane in an October 31, 2011 Washington Post column, "How   come my family and I traveled thousands of miles on both the east and west coast
last summer without actually seeing any crumbling roads or airports? On the whole, the highways and byways were clean, safe and did not
remind me of the Third World countries. ... Should I believe the pundits or my own eyes?" asked Lane ("The U.S. infrastructure argument that
crumbles upon examination"). Along with Lane, I think the American public is skeptical about alarmist claims of "crumbling
infrastructure" because they see no evidence of it around them. State DOTs and transit authorities take great pride in maintaining their
systems in good condition and, by and large, they succeed in doing a good job of it. Potholes are rare, transit buses and trains seldom break down, and collapsing
bridges, happily, are few and far between.

Third, Romney would label China a currency manipulator—Obama will not.
AP 12 — Associated Press, 2012 (“Obama, Romney and their foreign policy highlights,” July 31st, Available Online at
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/07/31/obama-romney-and-their-foreign-policy-highlights/, Accessed 08-10-2012)

Romney says he would brand China as a currency manipulator , a step that could lead to broad trade sanctions if talks
did not resolve the dispute. A country's artificially low currency can give it a disproportionate trade advantage by making its exports cheaper. Obama has
 refused to cite China for currency manipulation , fearing a trade war , instead pressing China diplomatically to lets its
currency rise. But his administration has aggressively brought unfair-trade cases against China to the World Trade Organization.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                    Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                 7
                                                  1NC — Elections DA (3/3)
Fourth, Labeling China a currency manipulator risks a trade war—it crushes relations.
CNN Money 11 — CNN Money, 2011 (“China-U.S. trade wars: What's at stake,” Byline Chris Isidore, October 13th, Available Online at
http://money.cnn.com/2011/10/13/news/international/china_us_trade/index.htm, Accessed 08-10-2012)

China and the United States are the world's two largest economies and arguably each other's most important trading
And now, it seems the two countries find themselves on the brink of a trade war .
The U.S. Senate, in a rare show of bipartisan agreement, passed a bill Tuesday that would slap steep taxes known as tariffs on imports from
nations with undervalued currencies. It is a provision aimed squarely at China's yuan, and it prompted harsh attacks from
Chinese officials.
" Should the proposed legislation be made into law , the result would be a trade war and that would be a lose-lose

situation for both sides," said Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai. "It would be detrimental to the development of economic ties and
might have an adverse impact on bilateral relations ."

Fifth, Strong U.S.-China relations are crucial to address all global challenges.
Cohen et al. 9 — William S. Cohen, Chairman and CEO of The Cohen Group—a strategic business consulting firm, served as Secretary of
Defense from 1997 until 2001, served in the U.S. Senate from 1979 to 1997 and in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 1979, et al.,
2009 (“Smart Power in U.S.-China Relations,” Smart Power in U.S.-China Relations: A Report of the CSIS Commission on China, March, Available
Online at http://csis.org/files/media/csis/pubs/090304_mcgiffert_uschinasmartpower_web.pdf, Accessed 08-13-2012, p. 1)

The evolution of Sino-U.S. relations over the next months, years, and decades has the potential to have a greater impact on global
security and prosperity than any other bilateral or multilateral arrangement. In this sense, many analysts consider the U.S.-
China diplomatic relationship to be the most influential in the world . Without question, strong and stable U.S. alliances
provide the foundation for the protection and promotion of U.S. and global interests. Yet within that broad framework,
the trajectory of U.S.-China relations will determine the success, or failure , of efforts to address the toughest global
challenges : global financial stability , energy security and climate change , nonproliferation , and terrorism , among
other pressing issues. Shepherding that trajectory in the most constructive direction possible must therefore be a priority
for Washington and Beijing. Virtually no major global challenge can be met without U.S.-China cooperation.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                     Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                                  8

                                               They Say: “Romney Will Win” (1/3)
Obama ahead with independents — widening margins but it’s still close
NYT 8/9 — Trip Gabriel, NYT Staffwriter, 2012 (“National Polls Show Clear Advantage for Obama Among Independents,” The Caucus: The
Politics and Government Blog of the Times, 8/9/2012, appeared in print 8/10/2012, Available Online at:
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/09/national-polls-show-clear-advantage-for-obama-among-independents/, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

In the all-important struggle for independent voters, President Obama is opening some daylight over his Republican rival.
That is the message of two national polls released on Thursday. The polls show a clear advantage for the president over Mitt Romney after
several difficult weeks for Mr. Romney, which included harsh attack advertisements, unfavorable publicity from a
foreign trip and pressure to reveal more of his tax returns.
In a Fox News poll conducted Sunday through Tuesday, independent voters favored Mr. Obama by 11 percentage points, an
upswing from a four-point advantage Mr. Obama held last month.
A CNN/ORC poll conducted Tuesday and Wednesday found 52 percent of independents held an unfavorable view of Mr. Romney, up
from 40 percent who viewed him unfavorably in May shortly after he nailed down the Republican primary race.
The Obama campaign and outside supporters have hammered Mr. Romney in battleground states in ads directed at his career at Bain Capital. Even though fact-
checking columnists have questioned many of the details, the overriding message seems to be hitting home with a crucial slice of voters who can still be persuaded.
There was some positive news for Mr. Romney: 56 percent of those who would vote for him say they “strongly support”
him, up from 47 percent in May, a sign of growing enthusiasm that will be important in driving turnout.

Obama leading — men and independents
The Hill 8/9 — Jonathan Eastley, Staffwriter for The Hill, 2012 (“Poll: Independents and men boost Obama,”Available Online at:
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/polls/243011-poll-men-and-independents-boost-obama-to-a-national-lead, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

             has opened up a 7-point lead over Mitt Romney nationally, according to a CNN-ORC poll released on Thursday.
President Obama
Obama leads Romney 52 percent to 45, according to the poll.
While Obama is only up by 4 percentage points nationally, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, the CNN-ORC survey is the second poll this week to
show Obama with a 7-point lead. Obama led Romney 49 percent to 42, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll released earlier this week.
Obama’s lead in the CNN-ORC poll is buoyed by men and independents — two groups that until recently had favored Romney.
Obama leads 53 percent to 42 among independents, and has a 6 percentage point advantage among men.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                     Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                  9
                                         They Say: “Romney Will Win” (2/3)
Obama still far ahead in overall spending — and reports on a fundraising gap only help him
Politico 8/6 — Byron Tau, staffwriter, 2012 (“Despite struggles, Obama still on pace to break '08 fundraising record,” Politico 44: A Living Diary
of the Obama Presidency, Available Online at: http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/08/despite-struggles-obama-still-on-pace-to-break-
fundraising-131206.html, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

Despite trailing Mitt Romney again in month-to-month fundraising, President Obama is still on pace to beat his record-
shattering 2008 fundraising effort.
The Obama reelection effort (combined with the DNC and state parties) has raised about $600 million since April 2011, and he has
posted three consecutive monthly hauls of $60 million or greater. That easily puts Obama on pace to match or beat his total $750 million haul from
2008. Romney has yet to clear the $300 million mark.
That's not to say that Obama's fundraising effort isn't off pace from early expectations.
It was widely predicted that Obama would shatter the $1 billion mark in 2012. That seems unlikely to happen at this point. And in 2008, Obama
wasn't able to take 5-figure donations (combined with the DNC) until after the primary process was over. This year, he has had a high-dollar, joint
fundraising committee for 15 months now. In short, Obama has had every fundraising advantage head-to-head against Romney and should be
expected to match or beat his 2008 totals.
But the narrative of Obama-as-pauper is one that both sides are content with. The Romney campaign is happy to highlight a successful fundraising
operation that has beat an incumbent president's totals three months in a row.
The Obama campaign seems equally content to accept the narrative that they are behind in the fundraising race — pointing
supporters to massive outside spending on the Republican side and three months of strong Romney hauls. The hope is to motivate the base.
Emails — with more than a hint of desperation — have flooded the inboxes of supporters, hoping to scare complacent donors into opening their

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                                           Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                                                       10
                                                       They Say: “Romney Will Win” (3/3)
Voter suppression unlikely to substantially change election results —and media reports increase
Democratic turnout
Silver 7/15 — Nate Silver, chief pollster for New York Times’ 538 election polling center. Regarded as top-level pollster based on distinct
mathematical models chief pollster for New York Times’ 538 election polling center. Regarded as top-level pollster based on distinct mathematical
models, 2012 (“Measuring the Effects of Voter Identification Laws,” FiveThirtyEight Blog, Available Online at:
http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/measuring-the-effects-of-voter-identification-laws/, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

With that said, thereis also not necessarily a reason to think that the laws would reduce turnout by more than a couple of
percentage points. It’s important to keep the following in mind:
The vast majority of adults do have some sort of identification.
Many people who do not have identification are not registered to vote — or if they are registered, they are unlikely to turn out.
The laws may be inconsistently enforced by thousands and thousands of poll workers at the precinct level.
In many cases, voters without proper identification can cast a provisional ballot, which could eventually be counted in the event of a vote-
counting dispute.
The campaigns have an opportunity to educate their voters about ID requirements as part of their turnout operations.
News media accounts, like some of those about the new voter ID laws in Pennsylvania, sometimes seize on the most dramatic estimates of the
effects of these laws — rather than the most accurate ones.
It has been reported, for instance, that about 750,000 Pennsylvanians, or about 9 percent of the state’s registered voter pool, do not have a ID issued by the state’s Department of
Transportation. The 750,000-voter figure, however, includes some cases where there are database-matching problems: for instance, a woman is listed by her married surname in one
database and her maiden surname in another may be included on that list, even though she should have few problems voting. It includes some cases of voters whose registrations are
inactive. And it includes voters who will have some valid form of ID other than that issued by the Department of Transportation, like a passport, which would still make them eligible to vote.
Based on the experiences of other states, it is more likely that these laws will prevent something like 2 or 3 percent of registered voters from actually casting a ballot, rather than 9 percent.
Still, that could be meaningful depending on which candidate these voters would have chosen. None of the studies I mentioned have sought to measure how a decline in turnout could effect
the Democratic and Republican candidates in particular, rather than the overall figure.
But some implied that Democratic-leaning voting groups, especially African-Americans and Hispanics, were more likely to be affected. Others found that educational attainment was the key
variable in predicting whom these laws might disenfranchise, with race being of secondary importance. If that’s true, some white voters without college degrees could also be affected, and
they tend to vote Republican.
Nevertheless, it’s clear enough that stricter voter ID requirements are probably bad for Democrats, on balance. In almost every state where the ID laws have been at
issue, Republican governors and legislatures have been on the side of passing stricter ones, while Democrats have sought to block them.
I sought to back into an estimate of the net effects of these laws, therefore, in a couple of different ways. First, I compared the popular vote in each state in 2008
against the turnout there, as listed at Michael McDonald’s Web site. As a control, I looked at the party identification of all adults in the state in 2008, according to
Gallup polling. This analysis suggested that for every one-percentage point increase in voter turnout, Barack Obama’s margin over John McCain increased by about
six-tenths (0.6) of a point in 2008.
Alternatively, I looked at the change in the popular vote margin between 2004 and 2008 as a function of the change in turnout. (For this version of the analysis, I
excluded states that were the home state of any of the presidential or vice presidential candidates in 2004 or 2008, since this introduces noise related to native-son
effects.) This version indicated that a 1-point increase in turnout increased Mr. Obama’s margin over John McCain by about 0.4 percentage points in 2008.
Both of these estimates are crude — I am open to looking into more robust means of estimating these effects, in case any of you have ideas.
But they square with the general notion that higher turnout is helpful to Democrats, on balance. If you take the average between them, it suggests that a 1-point
increase in turnout would improve the Democrat’s margin in the popular vote by a half a percentage point, accounting for other factors.
I then looked at which states have changed their voting laws since 2008, according to the National Council of State Legislatures. Their Web site classifies states along a
4-point spectrum from having no voter ID laws to strict photo identification requirements.
Pennsylvania, for instance, went from having no voter ID laws to a strict photo ID requirement. Based on the academic studies, I estimate that this will reduce turnout
by about 2.4 percent as a share of registered voters. And based on my formula to convert changes in turnout to changes in the popular vote, I estimate that this
would reduce President Obama’s margin against Mitt Romney by a net of 1.2 percentage points.
Changes for other states are listed below; I exclude cases where changes in a voter ID law have been struck down by courts, or are pending approval by the
Department of Justice. Note that, other than Pennsylvania, no swing states have passed major changes to voter ID laws, although
others like Wisconsin have sought to pass laws that have been struck down.
Starting with Saturday’s forecast, these shifts are applied to the “state fundamentals” calculation that the FiveThirtyEight forecast model uses along with the polls in
each state. The state fundamentals calculation is based on large part on how the state voted in 2008 or 2004 — so if there have been changes in the fundamentals
since that time which we think might have predictable effects, it is worth accounting for them.
I do not apply any adjustment to the polls themselves. My notion is that the pollsters are responsible for accounting for these effects, such as by means of their likely
voter models or their mechanism of accounting for registered voters.
The effects of the adjustment are ultimately fairly minor. In Pennsylvania, for instance, it reduced Mr. Obama’s chances of winning the state to
82.6 percent from 84.2 percent, according to the model’s estimate. Still, it makes Pennsylvania a little closer, and slightly increases the chance that it will be the
tipping point state in the election.
One last thing to consider: althoughI do think these laws will have some detrimental effect on Democratic turnout, it is unlikely
to be as large as some Democrats fear or as some news media reports imply — and they can also serve as a rallying point for the
party bases. So although the direct effects of these laws are likely negative for Democrats, it wouldn’t take that much in terms of increased
base voter engagement — and increased voter conscientiousness about their registration status — to mitigate them.
GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                      Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                                  11

                      They Say: “People Like Transportation Infrastructure” (1/2)
Times have changed — transportation investment is now a losing-election issue with the public.
Freemark 12 — Yonah Freemark, Master of Science in Transportation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Bachelor of Arts in
Architecture, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Yale University with Distinction. Also a freelance journalist who has been
published in Planning Magazine; Next American City Magazine; Dissent; The Atlantic Cities; Next American City Online; and The Infrastructurist – He
created and continues to write for the website The Transport Politic – The Transport Politic (“On Infrastructure, Hopes for Progress This Year Look
Glum,” January 25th, 2012, Available Online at: http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2012/01/25/on-infrastructure-hopes-for-progress-this-year-
look-glum/, Accessed: 8/10/2012)

In the context of the presidential race, Mr. Obama’s decision not to continue his previously strong advocacy of more and
more transportation funding suggests that the campaign sees the issue as politically irrelevant . If the Administration
made an effort last year to convince Americans of the importance of improving infrastructure, there seems to have been
fewer positive results in terms of popular perceptions than hoped for. Perhaps the rebuffs from Republican governors on high-speed rail
took their toll; perhaps the few recovery projects that entered construction were not visible enough (or at least their federal funding was not obvious enough);
perhaps the truth of the matter is that people truly care more about issues like unemployment and health care than they
do for public transit and roads.

Media spin — even if the aff is otherwise popular, it will be reported to public as inefficient and
AGC 11 — Associated General Contractors of America (“THE CASE FOR INFRASTRUCTURE & REFORM: Why and How the Federal Government
Should Continue to Fund Vital Infrastructure in the New Age of Public Austerity” – AGC’s Case for Infrastructure & Reform in based in large part on
comments from leaders, including those who participated in a March 2, 2011 panel discussion hosted by the association and The Weekly Standard,
including Reason Foundation’s Robert Poole, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton, Oklahoma Congressman James Lankford and
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Bruce Josten. May 19 , Available Online at: http://www.agc.org/galleries/news/Case-for-Infrastructure-
Reform.pdf, Accessed 08/10/2012)

Adding to Americans’ frustration, most of what they learn about the federal government’s role in transportation and other
infrastructure investments comes from media coverage of the proliferation of earmarks. Imagine the frustration most
motorists and other taxpayers must feel when learning that the money they are paying into the Highway Trust Fund is being
used to fund projects in far away parts of the country not because of need, but because some politician sits on a committee. It is hard to find
fault with a commuter who asks “why should I pay more in gas taxes” while stuck in traffic on an old and aging bridge on their way to work in Cincinnati, even as
residents of Alaska get a new and seemingly unneeded bridge. While earmarks still account for a relatively small portion of the total amount invested in
transportation projects nationwide, they have become a significant and debilitating problem when it comes to flood control, levy and lock and dam projects funded
by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps and Bureau of Reclamation both conduct comprehensive reviews with merit-based criteria and public participation, and
usually require local cost-sharing. Yet the Congressional practice of earmarking Corps and Bureau funds for projects favored by certain elected officials means that
many vital projects languish, despite the fact they have already been vetted and are needed to protect communities or facilitate maritime commerce. These earmarks
                                                                                                            when their money isn’t
have done little to reassure taxpayers of the federal government’s ability to make wise infrastructure investment decisions. Even
being diverted to earmarked projects or unrelated programs, many taxpayers have become jaded by a federal regulatory
process that takes years to make basic decisions about whether new projects can proceed. Worse, that inefficient
regulatory process also adds tremendous costs in delays and new paperwork requirements. The review process has become so out of control that
the average highway project, for example, now takes 13 years to go from concept to completion. Some water and flood protection projects can take up to 20 years to
complete, meanwhile, primarily because of the substantial regulatory burdens and the slow pace of funding.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                         Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                     12
                       They Say: “People Like Transportation Infrastructure” (2/2)
Funding collapses theoretical support – becomes key election issue regardless of how its paid for
Berstein Research 12— Sanford C. Bernstein, Wall Street’s premier sell-side research firm. Our research is sought out by leading
investment managers around the world, and we are annually ranked at the very top of acknowledged arbiters. In independent surveys of major
institutional clients, Bernstein's research is ranked #1 for overall quality, industry knowledge, most trusted, best detailed financial analysis, major
company studies, most useful valuation frameworks, best original research, and most willing to challenge management. In Institutional Investor’s
2010 annual client survey, the leading survey by which analysts in our industry are evaluated, 100% of our U.S. Analysts were recognized as among
the best in their respective fields -- more than any other firm on Wall Street, 2012(“Washington Research: The McBee 2012 Preview -
Transportation Infrastructure Investment: "The Responsibility
of Governing,” 2/3, Available Online at: http://www.fraternalalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Washington-Research-2012-Preview-
Transportation-Funding.pdf, Accessed 8/10/2012)

Expected passage of a long-term aviation financing bill next week gives ground transportation advocates
                                           politics surrounding how to pay for infrastructure
cause for hope, but that's likely a red-herring. The
financing simply remain too hot to handle in an election year . President Obama has run away from any
discussion of increasing the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gasoline tax, while Republicans won't support a
tax increase of any kind to pay for new spending, even if some groups are willing to pay additional taxes.
Those views are generally consistent with a voting public that wants to spend more on transportation
infrastructure – but does not want to foot the bill out of their own wallets.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                            13

                        They Say: “Helping the Economy Good for Obama” (1/2)
Voters don’t perceive stimulus — they hate spending even when it helps the economy
NSOR 11 — North Star Opinion Research, Resurgent Republic, Dr. Whit Ayres, president of North Star Opinion Research, co-founded Resurgent
Republic with former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie and Impacto Group CEO Leslie Sanchez. North Star partners with Resurgent Republic to conduct
surveys and focus groups on popular issues and trends that help shape public debate over the proper role of government, 2011 (“VOTERS BELIEVE
AMERICA IS WORSE OFF THAN WHEN OBAMA TOOK OFFICE,” 11/8, Available Online at: http://www.resurgentrepublic.com/research/voters-
believe-america-is-worse-off-than-when-obama-took-office, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

As shown repeatedly in past Resurgent Republic surveys, a majority of Americans continues to believe that the federal government
should be "spending less to reduce the deficit" rather than "spending more to help the economy recover." Voters
overall want the federal government to spend less by 54 to 40 percent, including Republicans by 78 to 20 percent and
Independents by 58 to 35 percent. Only Democrats want to spend more, by 63 to 30 percent.

Working-class voters hate spending — they’re in play now and determine outcome in vital swing
Epstein 12 — Reid Epstein, Columnist @ Politico, former reporter for Newsday and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2012(“Mitt Romney's Bill
Clinton strategy,” 5/17, Available Online At: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76424.html, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

Seeking to attract Democrats and independents who supported the last Democratic president, Romney has taken to
lavishing praise at every turn on Clinton's boom-era '90s policies while contrasting them unfavorably with President Barack Obama's
old-school, Big Government ways. The tactic is designed to drive a wedge between the group of Democrats who supported
Obama during the epic 2008 primary battle between Obama and Hillary Clinton: the white, working-class voters who hold the key to
many swing states, like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. It's also a simple way for Romneyland to poke a stick in the eye of Team Obama, using
one of its most prominent surrogates but a man who has had a complicated personal history with Obama. According to 2008 exit polls, Obama won self-described
moderates by 21 points but lost white voters who made less than $50,000 by 4 percentage points. The same group of Bill Clinton Democrats could
be Obama's Achilles' heel in 2012 as he fights to win them back. Romney is leading among white, working-class men in
polls - though the president is leading among women - while POLITICO's latest battleground poll showed Romney leading by 10 points
among independents. Republican strategists argue that Romney's sudden affinity for Clinton comes at an opportune moment for the likely GOP presidential
nominee. The Republican has a chance to argue that Obama is more liberal than some voters on key issues like same-sex
marriage, deficit spending and health care reform. Laying claim to the Clinton legacy also allows Romney to move to the center after being forced to tack right
in the GOP primary. Chip Saltsman, who ran Mike Huckabee's 2008 campaign, said Romney is making a play for moderate voters in states like North
Carolina and Virginia who may be turned off by Obama's embrace of same-sex marriage. "Those voters are in play right now, and as we've seen, the
polls flux and ebb and flow. Both campaigns are trying to figure out how to lock them down," Saltsman said.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                       Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                                   14
                          They Say: “Helping the Economy Good for Obama” (2/2)
Voters hate the plan – don’t perceive job benefits
Bergsten 9 — FRED BERGSTEN, Director, Peterson Institute for International Economics, International Economy, 2009 (“Obama's
500-day report card: recently, the world gave President Barack Obama grades for his first 100 days in office. What grades will he likely receive by
mid-2010, after 500 days in office?” 3/22, Available Online at: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Obama's+500-
day+report+card%3A+recently,+the+world+gave+President...-a0218878446, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

The problem the President will be facing is that Americans do not like government spending and investment, even
when it is desperately needed. Our huge trade deficit, for example, is largely composed of consumer goods from Asia and energy, but the public is
skeptical of a shift toward spending on public infrastructure that would alter the equation and create more jobs in America.
That is why power grids, roads, parks, and public transportation in Europe are dramatically more modern better maintained than they
are here. More spending on public facilities and less on imported cars, clothes, and household bric-a-brac would reduce our trade deficit and increase
employment here, but the President's grades will be good only if the public begins to believe this.

Transportation perceived as wasteful spending
Rockefeller Foundation 11 — Hart Research (D) and Public Opinion Strategies (R) conducted a national survey             of voters on behalf of
the Rockefeller Foundation, (“The Rockefeller Foundation Infrastructure Survey,” Survey Methodology: From January 29 to February 6, 2011,
Available Online at: http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/uploads/files/80e28432-0790-4d42-91ec-afb6d11febee.pdf, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

                                                                         With a high federal deficit, Americans
American voters see room for improvement in how government spends money on infrastructure:
overwhelmingly say that that current government spending on building and maintaining transportation infrastructure is
inefficient and unwise – 64% overall and 72% of Republicans. Americans support a host of reforms aimed at making spending more efficient
while still producing results. For instance, 90% support allowing local regions to have some input on how transportation dollars are used in their area.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                       Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                                   15

                                   They Say: “Voters Will Choose on Values” (1/1)
Transportation issues are politically divisive at the margin
Callen 9 — Zachary Callen, PhD candidate @ The University of Chicago, now Professor of Political Science @ Allegheny College, 2009 (“The
Seams Of The State: Infrastructure And Intergovernmental Relations In American State Building” – A Dissertation Submitted To – The Faculty Of The
Division Of The Social Sciences In Candidacy For The Degree Of Doctor Of Philosophy Department Of Political Science, August, Available Online at:
http://gradworks.umi.com/3369449.pdf, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

Further, spatial development continues to be a salient political issue into the present day. In 2006, there was conflict over shipping ports that were sold to a foreign
company based in Dubai. Much of the concern that originated about this sale related directly to issues of security and questions over where companies that
controlled the entrance of goods to American shores should be housed (Sanger, 2006; Sanger and Lipton, 2006). More closely tied to daily experience, following the
astronomic rise of gas prices in the summer of 2008, there was increased discussion about mass transit in American cities. Related to automobiles, but more grimly,
the bridge collapse in Minnesota during the summer of 2007 raised serious questions about the age and maintenance of American infrastructure (Wald, 2008). The
increasing costs and risks of infrastructure maintenance has actually led some states, such as Indiana, to turn over the operation of toll roads to private companies, an
                                                              being a settled concern, infrastructure projects continue to
action that generated considerable debate (Desk, 2006). Thus, far from
generate considerable debate, conflict, and attention from voters. The issue that perhaps speaks most strongly to the ongoing
pertinence of infrastructure politics is, of course, the sizable role infrastructure played in the most recent presidential
campaign. Following his victory, Barack Obama made a sizable commitment to infrastructure repair and development as part of his
economic development package in early 2009. Interestingly, an important facet of Obama's plan is the building of several high speed rail corridors
throughout the country. Significantly, Obama's infrastructure plans also directly relate to the problem of federalism in American political development. The
components of Obama's stimulus package that are geared towards infrastructure programs build directly on local projects, with federal funds being being utilized to
jump start state and city e orts stalled by the economic recession (Baker and Broder, 2008). Thus, local competition for limited local resources continues to color
modern infrastructure construction, much as in the antebellum period. As evidenced by these brief, contemporary anecdotes, space and how it should
be organized within a federal system continues to be a topical political issue that challenges human ingenuity and sparks heated political
conflict within the American federal system.

Even tiny shifts matter – our link is low threshold and linear
Silver 12 — Nate Silver, chief pollster for New York Times’ 538 election polling center. Regarded as top-level pollster based on distinct mathematical models
chief pollster for New York Times’ 538 election polling center. Regarded as top-level pollster based on distinct mathematical models, 2012 (“A 30,000-Foot View on
the Presidential Race,” 5/15, Available Online at: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/15/a-30000-foot-view-on-the-presidential-race/, Accessed:

The last thing to remember is that when  an election is quite close, it does not take very much to shift the race from one
candidate being a 60/40 favorite to it being about even. At the betting market Intrade, Mr. Obama’s odds of re-election have consistently been
around 60 percent. While, on the one hand, it is good not to overreact to new data at this early stage of the race, it is also worth remembering that
 even a one-point shift in a president’s approval ratings, or a modest change in the economic forecasts, can move a
president’s re-election odds at the margin.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                     Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                                 16

                                           They Say: “Romney Won’t Label” (1/3)
Romney will call them out — this risks a trade war
Reuters 12 — Doug Palmer, Writer @ Reuters, 2012 (Doug, writer, “Romney would squeeze China on currency manipulation-adviser,” 3-27-
2012, Available Online at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/28/us-usa-romney-china-idUSBRE82Q0ZS20120328, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney      is looking at ways to increase pressure on China over what he sees as currency
manipulation and unfair subsidy practices, a Romney campaign adviser said on Tuesday. "I think he wants to maximize the pressure," Grant Aldonas, a former
undersecretary of commerce for international trade, said at a symposium on the future of U.S. manufacturing. Aldonas served at the Commerce Department under
Republican President George W. Bush. Romney, the front-runner in the Republican race to challenge President Barack Obama for the White House in November,
has promised if elected he would quickly label    China a currency manipulator, something the Obama administration has six times
declined to do . That would set the stage, under Romney's plan, for the U nited S tates to impose countervailing duties on
Chinese goods to offset the advantage of what many consider to be China's undervalued currency. Last year, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed
legislation to do essentially the same thing. However, the measure has stalled in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where leaders say they fear it
could start a trade war , and the Obama administration has not pushed for a House vote on the currency bill. The U.S. Treasury Department on April 15
faces a semi-annual deadline to declare whether any country is manipulating its currency for an unfair trade advantage. The department, under both Democratic and
Republican administrations, has not cited any country since 1994, when China was last named. Asked      if Romney was serious about declaring China a
currency manipulator, Aldonas     answered: " He is ."

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                       Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                                   17
                                            They Say: “Romney Won’t Label” (2/3)
It’s not just campaign rhetoric—Romney will follow through.
Shobert 12 — Benjamin A. Shobert, Member of the National Committee on US-China Relations, holds an advisory board seat at Indiana
University’s Research Center on Chinese Politics and Business, Managing Director of Rubicon Strategy Group—a consulting firm specializing in
strategy analysis for companies looking to enter emerging economies, Writer and Columnist for Asia Times, holds an MBA from Duke University,
2012 (“Romney lays ground for China trade war,” Asia Times, February 22 , Available Online at
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_Business/NB22Cb01.html, Accessed 08-10-2012)

Part of what Romney wrote aligns with his early September 2011 economic plan, where he announcedthat his administration would formally
label China a "currency manipulator". On this point, his Wall Street Journal op-ed doubled down; there, he wrote, " ... on day one of my
presidency I will designate it a currency manipulator and take appropriate counteraction."
As a head nod to the influential parts of the GOP who represent the interests of big-business, he subsequently added, "A trade war with China is the last thing I want,
but I cannot tolerate our current trade surrender."
For someone who claims not to want a trade war with China, Romney is making a pretty compelling case for how his
administration would make one all but certain .
It is a temptation to read Romney's op-ed as the sort of positioning during the primaries that Americans have come to
expect during their elections. Even in the US-China policy-community, many draw comfort from past election cycles where blustery
comments from potential presidential candidates were dramatically toned down - if they did not go away altogether - once
their transition into elected office took place. The present administration went through a similar smoothing out of the rough edges about its stance
towards China once it emerged victoriously from both the primary and the general election.
Admittedly, this is the safest way to interpret Romney's most recent volley towards the Chinese: as the primary shifts back to his "home state", China presents an
issue that certainly has bi-partisan traction in a manufacturing-sensitive midwestern economy like Michigan, where China's economy is perceived to have benefited at
the expense of middle-class American blue-collar workers.
It is a note the Romney campaign believes can be safely struck not only in the midst of a heated GOP primary, but in the general election as well. Tradition says
nothing should be made of Romney's saber rattling towards China, but is tradition wrong?
Choosing to interpret Romney's attitude towards China as something not to be alarmed about overlooks a major
 difference between past election cycles and today's : now the American psyche is deeply frustrated over the
difficulties the country's economy must face.
In the past, the relative confidence felt about America's economic future allowed many to overlook the potential threat
China might present. Today, that confidence is gone . The average American worker remains traumatized and deeply insecure since the 2008
financial crisis. Many also feel brutalized over the ugly state of American politics, precisely when the latter should be shedding light on how best to deal with the
former. An economic crisis has quickly devolved into a political one, leaving many in middle America eager for someone to blame.
Tied to these economic insecurities are deep misgivings about America's place in the world, which go back to the US response to 9/11 and the subsequent invasions
of Afghanistan and Iraq. Americans are torn between the GOP world view that argues for America to remain a hegemonic force for good around the world, versus a
libertarian-progressive framework that believes that America can be powerful and influential, but must do so within a the realities of both a multi-polar world and the
economic limitations imposed on Washington based on years of fiscal imprudence.
When Romney disparagingly writes of President Barack Obama that he "came into office as a near supplicant to Beijing", he
touches on this insecurity and appeals to the American desire to appear muscular and able to "go it alone" where
others counsel caution and compromise.
The popular temper American politicians tap into over China is not necessarily new, although a good argument could be made that negative portrayals of China
                                                                                          thinking has it that the real decision-
during American elections has been growing more common in this, and recent election cycles. Conventional
makers about American policy towards China are those who never run for elected office, the safe wise men who, behind
closed doors, know how to calm everyone down and focus on how best to maintain the status-quo.
That is precisely why Romney's ongoing diatribe against China is so distressing: he is supposed to be one of those calm,
level-headed people that could be trusted not to demagogue China in order to score cheap political points.
For US-China policy-makers, Romney's elevation of China as an issue for the general election should not be overlooked,

downplayed, or rationalized . To have the supposedly most business-savvy candidate for president the country has seen in years run within the most pro-
business, historically free trade American political party with a major plank of his economic plan being to call out China as a currency manipulator is noteworthy.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                         Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                                     18

                                             They Say: “Romney Won’t Label” (3/3)
President Romney would label China a currency manipulator
Reuters 12 — Stella Dawson and Jeff Mason, Columnists @ Reuters, 2012 (“Tough calculus for Obama in Chinese leader's election-year visit,”
2/13, Available Online at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/13/us-usa-campaign-obama-china-idUSTRE81C0DG20120213, Accessed:

Tough calculus for Obama in Chinese leader's election-year visit¶ Even as he greets China's vice president in the Oval Office on Tuesday, President
Barack Obama is quietly overhauling U.S. economic policy toward Beijing, looking for new ways to extract results on issues such as
market access and currency manipulation that have bedeviled him and his predecessors.¶ Obama's need to boost U.S. exports and show he
can be firm with China, and his simultaneous hopes for a smooth start with Vice President Xi Jinping, who is due to
become China's leader in 13 months, illustrate the conflicting tugs on Washington's China policy.¶ Making the calculus even
more complicated, Xi arrives in the middle of a U.S. election year, in which Obama's dealings with Beijing are a popular
punching bag for Republican presidential candidates aiming to challenge the Democratic incumbent.¶ Xi is getting the full Washington tour: visits to the
State Department, Pentagon and Capitol Hill, as well as meetings with U.S. and Chinese business leaders.¶ But he won't be offered the complete red-carpet
treatment. For all his power within the Chinese system, Xi is still for now No. 2, leader-in-waiting behind outgoing President Hu Jintao.¶ Obama's aides say the visit
will produce few, if any, formal agreements. Rather they expect the president and Xi to size one another up. There will be firm talk from Obama on U.S. gripes, and
perhaps from Xi as well.¶ While there has been progress in increasing U.S. exports to China, "we've also raised very directly instances where we believe that China is
not living up to the rules of the road that all nations need to with regard to business practices," deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters.¶ POLICY
                 is not beloved by the American electorate. Its trade and currency policies are blamed for job losses in the
                         hit important election battleground states such as Ohio especially hard. Beating up on Beijing is an easy
U.S. manufacturing sector that
way for candidates from both parties to score political points.¶ Obama knows that, and he set the stage for tough talk at the Asia-Pacific
summit in Hawaii in November, telling China to act like a "grown-up" by reforming trade and currency practices viewed as detrimental to the U.S. economy.¶ U.S.
leverage over Beijing is limited, since China holds hundreds of billions of dollars of U.S. debt.¶ Still, the policy review, described by an official who recently left the
Obama administration, is aimed at finding new ways of getting results on limits to U.S. market access, China's use of state-owned corporations, the valuation of its
yuan currency, which U.S. officials see as artificially low, and related issues.¶ In his State of the Union address last month, Obama announced a new enforcement unit
that will investigate unfair trade practices. China will likely be a major target.¶ Republicans do not see a lot that is working. Mitt Romney, the apparent front-
runner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, has said    Obama is not being tough enough. He promised to label China a
currency manipulator - something the Obama administration has declined to do.¶ In a speech to technology executives on Friday, Romney
slammed China's "autocratic model" of capitalism, and said that China's rise could ultimately threaten U.S. freedom.¶ Such criticism has gained traction on the
campaign trail.¶ "China is just a drop in the bucket in terms of things the Obama administration is doing wrong," said Chrystalline Lauryl, 35, who was attending a
conservative conference in Washington where the Republican candidates were speaking.¶ "There's friendly and there's buttering up," she said with regard to China
policy. Obama, she said, was doing the latter.¶ The president's political advisers are aware that Xi's visit could trigger more attacks on the president's record, and they
are ready with a string of comebacks about Romney's own record on the subject.¶ They point out, for example, that in his book "No Apology" Romney criticized
Obama for being protectionist after putting tariffs on Chinese tires, while as a presidential candidate Romney said he would apply tariffs to goods after declaring the
country a currency manipulator.¶ "That just gives us another opportunity to talk about a flip flop," a senior Obama campaign official said.¶ CALCULUS¶ Obama may
not address Romney's critiques directly while Xi is in Washington, but the pressure of the election will influence his positioning.¶ "The way that China's been
broached in the Republican primaries has been one of the things that has contributed to Obama having to take a tougher public stance on some of the China
economic issues in particular," said Andrew Small, a China expert at the German Marshall Fund, who said U.S. officials would still be cognizant of China's sensitivity to
protocol.¶ "For this trip itself, the calculus will probably net out in favor of laying on a good show for him," he said.¶ One senior administration official said the
protocol would be appropriate to Xi's current position as vice president.¶ Making Xi's visit smooth is also important to Obama, who has an interest in establishing
good relations with the man expected to lead the world's second-largest economy and most populous nation for the next 10 years.¶ "The hope of this administration
is that (Obama is) going to be returned to power for another four years, and they want to establish a rapport between these two individuals," said Bonnie Glaser, a
China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.¶ Pomp and circumstance aside, the White House has signaled in advance it will not shy away from
touchy subjects, many of which are important to U.S. voters.¶ Biden, who traveled to China to meet with Xi in August, called the country's one-child policy "God-
awful" earlier this week and later met with a group of human rights advocates.¶ "We consider it an important visit - make no mistake -- because the relationship is
important and his role as the future leader is important, so we're not going to in any way seek to diminish that importance because it's an election year," White
House spokesman Jay Carney said.¶ "But we're also going to be pretty candid, as we have been in the past, about where we have differences."

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                    Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                19

                                     They Say: “No Impact to Labeling” (1/1)
Labeling China ignites a trade war and hurts the economy.
Lee 12 — Ann Lee, Senior Fellow at Demos, teaches graduate finance and economics at New York University, formerly a professor at Peking
University and Pace University, 2012 (“U.S-China: Headed for Trade War?,” The Huffington Post, March 9 , Available Online at
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ann-lee/uschina-headed-for-trade-_b_1332953.html, Accessed 08-10-2012)

           trade bill is misguided and dangerous on even other levels because it actually aggravates U.S. economic problems.
However, this
Rather than protect American jobs, punitive duties will make products more expensive to American consumers and
companies while at the same time make American employers and employees less competitive in the global economy
because they are shielded from competition in the U.S. but not in foreign countries. But because companies must
compete globally to survive in this day and age, this inability to compete abroad will translate into lost American jobs anyway.
This punitive trade bill to punish the Chinese will just backfire if these American companies cannot bring their costs
down and be as nimble as the Chinese when competing in other markets. Worse, it could kick start a trade war in
which everyone in the global economy will lose by creating spillover effects. For instance, competitive American companies
may face reciprocal duties slapped on them from foreign countries, causing a downward spiral similar to the
conditions that led to World War II .

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                           Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                       20

                                      Trade War Hurts Global Cooperation (1/1)
A trade war with China will hurt the economy and prevent cooperation over important global issues
like Iran and North Korea.
Glaeser 12 — Edward L. Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University,
Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, Director of the Rappaport Institute of Greater Boston, holds a Ph.D. from the
University of Chicago, 2012 (“The sound of saber-rattling against China,” The Boston Globe, January 27 , Available Online at
http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2012/01/27/sound-saber-rattling-against-china/G19CbTLQA6qHIrHsXw0RiI/story.html, Accessed 08-10-

Accepting that America has limited options on China may feel unsatisfying to many voters. But punitive   trade policies are particularly dangerous
because the world’s second-most powerful nation can easily strike back . Chinese purchases of vast amounts of
American debt - part of the country’s alleged currency manipulation - help keep our interest rates low. If China dumped US securities,
the federal government’s fiscal situation would go from bad to dire .
Besides, without Chinese help, we have little hope of using non-military options, like trade embargos, to force change in
Iran and North Korea. And as long as China buys its oil, Iran doesn’t need the United States or the European Union. A US-China
trade war practically guarantees a nuclear-armed Iran .
                                                            interests demand cooperation, not conflict . Our elected
Politicians may enjoy appealing to popular anti-China sentiment, but America’s
leaders need to negotiate the best deal possible for America, but that won’t be won with name-calling, saber-rattling, or
trade sanctions.

Trade tensions prevent cooperation over important global issues.
Prasad 9 — Eswar Prasad, Senior Fellow for Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution, 2009 (“A Dangerous Game of
Trade 'Chicken',” Wall Street Journal, September 14 , Available Online at http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2009/09/14-china-trade-
prasad, Accessed 08-10-2012)

Heightened trade tensions between the two countries would also hinder progress on important multilateral initiatives where
the two countries play important roles. The U.S. and China invariably set the tone for international discussions on key
matters , including initiatives to control climate change, promote reform of the international financial institutions and
handle rogue nations like North Korea. A dysfunctional economic relationship between these two countries could spill
over into other areas and have huge costs .

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                         Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                     21

                                              Trade War Hurts Economy (1/1)
The DA turns their economy advantage—trade retaliation prevents global economic recovery.
Prasad 9 — Eswar Prasad, Senior Fellow for Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution, 2009 (“A Dangerous Game of
Trade 'Chicken',” Wall Street Journal, September 14 , Available Online at http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2009/09/14-china-trade-
prasad, Accessed 08-10-2012)

Each action by either side simply invites an equal and opposite reaction, leaving everyone worse off , except for a small group
of domestic producers in each country who are happy to have to face less foreign competition. But the collateral damage might be broader. An
escalating trade war between these two large economies has the potential to disrupt the world trading system and
set back the fragile global economic recovery that has just gotten started.

A trade war would devastate the U.S. economy.
Liu et al. 11 — Li-Gang Liu, Research Associate at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Johns
Hopkins University, et al., with Raymond Yeung, Senior Economist for Greater China at ANZ, and Louis Lam, Analyst for Greater China Economics at
ANZ, 2011 (“A Sino-US Trade War: An Outcome to be Avoided,” Consensus Economics, October 31 , Available Online at
http://www.consensuseconomics.com/News_and_Articles/China_US_Trade_War620.htm, Accessed 08-10-2012)

For the US, a trade war with China would be damaging for its already stuttering economic recovery . With an
unemployment rate at above 9%, the number of US manufacturing jobs affected due to a US-Sino trade war is estimated to be in
the order of 670,000. Moreover, as China invests a majority of its foreign exchange reserves in US assets, the US is dependent on China for the
low-cost financing of its current account deficits. According to US Treasury International Capital Flows data, China held $1.6trn of US financial assets
at the end of June 2010, which represents around 15% of total foreign portfolio holdings, second only to European countries. If China were to sell US
assets, the US capital market would likely see substantial volatility . Because of the US’ need for large external
financing, any moves that might lead to a significant Chinese move out of US dollar based assets would send shock
waves through the US Treasury and related markets.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                         Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                     22

                                     Trade War Increases Risk of Conflict (1/1)
Trade tensions with China increase the risk of war.
Eland 5 — Ivan Eland, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute, former Director of Defense
Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, worked on national security issues in Congress for 15 years, holds a Ph.D. in National Security Policy from
George Washington University, 2005 (“Avoid Threatening China Over Its Currency,” Independent Institute, May 31 , Available Online at
http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1515, Accessed 08-13-2012)

                            in the international marketplace can ultimately lead to a trade war among nations. In
Thus, government interference
the 1930s, the Smoot-Hawley legislation that increased tariffs in the United States was followed by retaliation from other nations.
Such protectionism deepened the worldwide depression, and that global economic crisis was a contributing factor to
the causes of World War II .
The United States has enough tension with a nuclear-armed China over the Taiwan issue and dual military buildups
without interjecting a trade war into the mix. In fact, a healthy level of international commerce between the two
countries could create a peace lobby in each nation and a greater incentive to avoid military confrontation .

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                     Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                                 23

                                                  They Say: “HSR is Popular” (1/1)
Program popularity irrelevant – public opposes new transportation spending based on failed history
of Federal involvement
AGC 11 — Associated General Contractors of America (“THE CASE FOR INFRASTRUCTURE & REFORM: Why and How the Federal Government
Should Continue to Fund Vital Infrastructure in the New Age of Public Austerity” – AGC’s Case for Infrastructure & Reform in based in large part on
comments from leaders, including those who participated in a March 2, 2011 panel discussion hosted by the association and The Weekly Standard,
including Reason Foundation’s Robert Poole, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton, Oklahoma Congressman James Lankford and
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Bruce Josten. May 19 , Available Online at: http://www.agc.org/galleries/news/Case-for-Infrastructure-
Reform.pdf, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

While we clearly would like Congress and the Administration to act on each of the reform recommendations we have provided,
what is even more important is that they fundamentally rethink our current and in many ways deeply flawed approach to infrastructure investments. Even if we
weren’t on the brink of a new era of federal austerity, thefact is that our federal infrastructure programs have become so convoluted,
unfocused and/or ineffective that public support for funding them has declined precipitously. That a nation obsessed with traffic and
commuting patterns would chronically resist federal gas tax increases is a clear indication that most Americans no longer believe that the people
who built the Interstate system can make it better.

Massively unpopular – 2010 elections prove key issue for voters
Reuters 10 — John Crawley, Journalist @ Reuters, 2010 (“New Congress to revisit Obama transport priorities,” 11/10, Available Online at:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/11/08/us-infrastructure-congress-idUSTRE6A749F20101108, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

                                                     and Infrastructure Committee, told Reuters in a post-election interview that he would conduct a
John Mica, who is expected to chair the Transportation
close review of how money was spent from the 2009 economic stimulus package approved by the Democratic-controlled Congress. He also plans    to reevaluate
grant programs that bypassed congressional review. The new look at spending comes after voters last week questioned Obama
infrastructure priorities in electing Republican governors who campaigned against what they considered unworkable
transportation spending. To start, Mica will focus on more than $10 billion in high-speed rail awards and a $1.5 billion transportation construction financing
under the so-called TIGER grant program in which funds were sent directly to states on the merit of proposed projects. "We had unelected officials sitting behind
closed doors making decisions without any hearings or without any elected officials being consulted. There was no rational explanation," Mica said. "I'm going to have
a full review of that." TIGER grants have been oversubscribed and state capitals want them extended, but there is no commitment from Congress to do that. Some of
the money could come back to the federal government, according to Mica, who also said that he would look at how to expedite funding in other cases. Mica's
scrutiny of high-speed rail projects and other construction spending is shared by some critical Republicans at the state level. Republican
gubernatorial candidates who won their races in Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin last week campaigned against high speed rail
development, an Obama transportation priority.

Public opposition growing – HSR perceived as wasteful
Nunes 11 — Devin Nunes, US Representative, 21st District of California 2011 (“House Committee holds oversight hearing on California high-
speed rail,” Press Release, 12/15, Available Online at: http://nunes.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=272851, Accessed:

Today Congressman Devin Nunes testified before theHouse Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which held an important
oversight hearing on the skyrocketing cost of California high-speed rail. "The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure gave
opponents of California high-speed rail a unique opportunity to tell members why they oppose this growingly unpopular
project," said Congressman Nunes. "We need to look for better options to high- speed rail, such as freight rail and other transportation projects that are more
beneficial to California and don't bankrupt our state. Chairman Mica should be praised for showing considerable leadership in holding this hearing."

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                 Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                             24

                                        They Say: “Public Transit is Popular” (1/3)
Program popularity irrelevant – public opposes new transportation spending based on failed history
of Federal involvement
AGC 11 — Associated General Contractors of America (“THE CASE FOR INFRASTRUCTURE & REFORM: Why and How the Federal Government
Should Continue to Fund Vital Infrastructure in the New Age of Public Austerity” – AGC’s Case for Infrastructure & Reform in based in large part on
comments from leaders, including those who participated in a March 2, 2011 panel discussion hosted by the association and The Weekly Standard,
including Reason Foundation’s Robert Poole, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton, Oklahoma Congressman James Lankford and
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Bruce Josten. May 19 – http://www.agc.org/galleries/news/Case-for-Infrastructure-Reform.pdf)

While we clearly would like Congress and the Administration to act on each of the reform recommendations we have provided,
what is even more important is that they fundamentally rethink our current and in many ways deeply flawed approach to infrastructure investments. Even if we
weren’t on the brink of a new era of federal austerity, thefact is that our federal infrastructure programs have become so convoluted,
unfocused and/or ineffective that public support for funding them has declined precipitously. That a nation obsessed with traffic and
commuting patterns would chronically resist federal gas tax increases is a clear indication that most Americans no longer believe that the people
who built the Interstate system can make it better.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                            25
                                  They Say: “Public Transit is Popular” (2/3)
Mass transit perceived as expensive and wasteful
US News 8 — Alex Kingsbury and Bret Schulte, Staffwriters, 2008 (“Mass Transit Systems Have a Hard Time Paying the Bills,” 5/27/2008,
Available Online at: http://www.usnews.com/news/national/articles/2008/03/27/mass-transit-systems-have-a-hard-time-paying-the-bills,
Accessed 8/10/2012)

Because mass transit systems are so expensive to operate , they rely heavily on subsidies from federal, state, and local
coffers. But the flow of money has not kept pace with the ridership growth. And when demand is coupled with capital
costs or deferred maintenance and bonds coming due, many transit systems now find themselves in a financial bind that
promises to only get worse. In the red. The transit agency in Boston, for instance, is now some $5 billion in the red. The
New York Transit Authority will face an estimated $700 million deficit this year, which is projected to jump to a $1.1
billion shortfall in 2009 and a $2.07 billion gap by 2011. "The state wasn't kicking in money for capital needs, so we were
taking out bonds," says William Henderson, executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the
Metropolitan Transit Authority. "Now, not only are you having to pay for the 40 percent of cost of operations that you're
not covering through the fare box, you're also paying for more and more debt service." Like the nation's highways,
transit systems are not federal assets; they are owned and operated by a patchwork of local and state partnerships.
While this means that each network has flexibility in the way it secures funding, it also makes finding money a constant
 struggle between often competing entities . In Chicago, one month after the mayor cajoled aldermen into supporting
his tax plan, state legislators and Illinois's governor were unable to agree on a CTA funding package, forcing cuts of $200
million from the capital-improvements budget. In Chicago, the need for repairs is particularly acute. Miles of train track
need repair, and some dilapidated bus garages are so old they were built for horses. Substantially increasing the fares
isn't a practical option in most cases, though record hikes have recently been levied in Washington, D.C., and New York,
while the price of a rail ticket in San Francisco has jumped 26 percent in the past five years. A survey in 2001 found that
43 percent of the country's transit riders live in households where the annual income is less than $20,000, and nearly
the same percentage of riders come from households without cars. "The hard part of transit funding is finding that
sweet spot where you're not punishing the people who need it most, but you're getting enough out of riders to make
the whole package work," says Bob Dunphy, senior resident fellow for transportation and infrastructure at the Urban
Land Institute. Federal purse strings. Part of the squeeze stems from the failure of federal funding to keep pace with the
relative explosion in the number of transit systems under construction. Even as more cities build or expand their systems
and ridership hits a 50-year high, the amount of federal funding has remained constant. And now, the federal
transportation trust fund, paid for largely through an 18.4-cent-per-gallon gas tax, is scheduled to run out of money next
year. The federal fund will have a $3 billion surplus this year, which will become a $3.9 billion deficit by 2009. When
Congress proposed raising the gas tax to close the expected gap, the White House called for cuts in spending. The tax
has not been raised since 1993. While public opinion is strongly against a rise in the federal gas tax, voters at the local
level have consistently supported increasing local taxes to fund their transit systems—some 70 percent of the time,
according to a study of some 200 ballot initiatives by the American Public Transportation Association. "At the federal
level, [transportation funding] is characterized by the Bridge to Nowhere ," says Puentes. But when voters are
presented with funding specific projects, "they do so at a pretty good clip."

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2012-2013                                                                                                                               26
                                   They Say: “Public Transit is Popular” (3/3)
Mass transit does not have a public support base
Jones 12 — Rob Jones, content and social media manager at Build Direct, Editor-in-chief of the Build Direct blogs, 2012 (“Public Transit and
Green Urban Planning: Sexy Buses?,” 5/4/2012, Available Online at: http://blog.builddirect.com/greenbuilding/public-transit-and-green-urban-
planning-sexy-buses/, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

 Buses just aren’t sexy . Public transit, public perception The current reputation of public transit as opposed to private
car ownership in many cities in North America has an impact on public perception, and therefore it also has an impact
on how budgets are structured around the funding of expanded public transit. It has an impact on how the spending of
tax money is perceived by the public, with many complaining that they shouldn’t have to fund a service they themselves
don’t use. Among other things, this is perhaps a product of not thinking about what their commutes in their cars would
be like if no one used public transit. All of this in turn has an impact on the level of political will it takes to think in the
long term about how populations should best access urban and suburbans areas, while reducing traffic congestion,
creating a more efficient use of land, lowering emissions, and improving air quality. These are long-term investments,
that often mean short term budgeting issues. Often, current perceptions about how to manage mass transit simply lead
to cuts in services to ‘low ridership areas’ in order to save money. Transit cuts: cutting the throat of future revenue
When services are being cut to “save money”, the expectations of those services in general are lowered to the point
where gaining ridership back as populations swell over time becomes more and more difficult; no one will spend money
on a service that they can’t (or perceive that they can’t) rely on. When a bus runs every hour, it might as well not run at
all. You can only cut so much before diminishing returns makes any spending a waste of money. To me, when it comes
to public transit, you’ve got to go big or go home. As such, it’s clear that strict standards of service need to be put in
place and kept there in all North American cities, and right now. No more of this cutting services because of supposed
low ridership. That won’t save money in the long term. It will kill future revenues of a growing number of potential
public transit users; remember, populations are projected to double in cities by 2050. By worsening the reputation of
public transit in cities for potential commuters, transit cuts actually cut the throat of an expanding market in city
infrastructure investment. Cities, states, provinces, nations, need to build on this potential, not kill it. Cultural attitudes
affect budgets But, I don’t believe that all of this has to do with money, primarily. I think it has to do with where our
cultural heads are at, sitting as we are on the transition from one century and another. I think clever ad campaigns for
sexy buses and trains, making transit hubs into culturally and commercially appealing locations, and expanding
amenities on commuter trains are all good ideas, and worthy investments to help to design cities around the needs of
people who live there. But, I think the main hurdle is still about cultural perceptions on how useful and beneficial
taking the bus, the subway, the streetcar can be in modern urban and suburban life in a new century. As it is, I think that
taking public transit is still thought of as second-rate to car ownership . The idea of a car-less lifestyle is still looked
upon as being unrealistic (in some areas, it is!), to downright bohemian. This bears out when priorities are set for
infrastructure budgeting .

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                 Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                             27

                                              They Say: “NextGen is Popular” (1/1)
Program popularity irrelevant – public opposes new transportation spending based on failed history
of Federal involvement
AGC 11 — Associated General Contractors of America (“THE CASE FOR INFRASTRUCTURE & REFORM: Why and How the Federal Government
Should Continue to Fund Vital Infrastructure in the New Age of Public Austerity” – AGC’s Case for Infrastructure & Reform in based in large part on
comments from leaders, including those who participated in a March 2, 2011 panel discussion hosted by the association and The Weekly Standard,
including Reason Foundation’s Robert Poole, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton, Oklahoma Congressman James Lankford and
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Bruce Josten. May 19 – http://www.agc.org/galleries/news/Case-for-Infrastructure-Reform.pdf)

While we clearly would like Congress and the Administration to act on each of the reform recommendations we have provided,
what is even more important is that they fundamentally rethink our current and in many ways deeply flawed approach to infrastructure investments. Even if we
weren’t on the brink of a new era of federal austerity, thefact is that our federal infrastructure programs have become so convoluted,
unfocused and/or ineffective that public support for funding them has declined precipitously. That a nation obsessed with traffic and
commuting patterns would chronically resist federal gas tax increases is a clear indication that most Americans no longer believe that the people
who built the Interstate system can make it better.

The public strongly opposes loan guarantees like the plan—perceived as corporate welfare.
Edwards and DeHaven 12 — Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, and Tad DeHaven, Budget Analyst on
Federal and State Budget Issues for the Cato Institute, 2012 (“Corporate Welfare Spending vs. the Entrepreneurial Economy,” Testimony before the
House Budget Committee, June 1 , Available Online at http://www.cato.org/publications/congressional-testimony/corporate-welfare-spending-vs-
entrepreneurial-economy, Accessed 08-14-2012)

Polls show that the public understands the unfairness of corporate welfare , and most people want it cut . Most
people are against the federal government providing loan guarantees to small businesses; only 29 percent think that
the government should help large corporations finance their export sales; and a plurality (46 percent) think farm subsidies should be
abolished.11 Polls have also found strong opposition to federal bailouts of financial institutions.12

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2012-2013                                                                                                                                                28

                                                        2AC — Elections DA (1/4)
Romney will win despite recent polls — enthusiasm, economy, money and voter suppression
The Atlantic 8/10 — Molly Ball, Staffwriter, 2012 (“Obama Is Ahead, but Is He Winning?,” The Atlantic: Election 2012, Available Online at:
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/obama-is-ahead-but-is-he-winning/260963/, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

The polls put the incumbent in the lead, but there are plenty of reasons for Republicans to be optimistic -- and Democrats to be
Three months remain until election day, and President Obama narrowly leads in nearly every national poll. Gallup's most recent tracking has him up 47-45 over Mitt
Romney, for example, and just about every reputable poll for the last two months has shown a similar result. Nate Silver's weighted polling model puts Obama's
current share of the popular vote at 50.2 percent to Romney's 48.4 percent, a figure that has scarcely changed since early June.
By the numbers, then, Obama is winning, if barely. (When you factor in the way the election is actually decided, by electoral votes, the president does
slightly better.) Yet Republicans seem bullish on their chances. Take Karl Rove: His column in Thursday's Wall Street Journal was
headlined "For Romney, Even Means Ahead." Romney, Rove argues, remains standing after weeks of pummeling from
the other side. He's gotten tougher and more disciplined, and his fortunes will only improve as voters take a closer look
at him with his choice of running mate and convention speech.
Rove isn't being contrarian here -- this is a widely shared sentiment on both sides , for a number of reasons. Here's why many Republicans
think they're in good shape -- and many Democrats agree:
 1. The GOP's enthusiasm advantage : The evidence that Republicans are more excited about this election than
Democrats continues to mount. A memo released Thursday by the Republican polling and advocacy shop Resurgent Republic found that 62 percent of
Republicans were "extremely enthusiastic" about voting in November, versus just 49 percent of Democrats. Gallup's recent polling found Democrats less excited
                                                                           supporters seem weary and disillusioned, while
about voting than anytime since 2004. Intuitively, this makes sense: Many of Obama's
Republicans, though they may not be thrilled with Romney, seem thoroughly fired up to get rid of the president. The Resurgent Republic poll
found enthusiasm particularly lagging among young voters and Hispanics, two major parts of Obama's 2008 coalition. But it's worth taking these numbers with a grain
of salt: According to Gallup, Democrats were far more enthusiastic than Republicans in 2004. It wasn't exactly a ticket to victory.
2. The economic drumbeat : Every month, a new jobs report comes out, and every month, the news is the same: tepid
positive growth and barely   a quaver of the unemployment rate. This has been the trend for most of the past year, and unless
something dramatic happens , it's likely to continue, exacerbating with each repetition voters' impression of an economy stuck in neutral.
There are three more jobs reports before the election, including one scheduled for release on Nov. 2, just four days before the
vote. Each one brings an opportunity for Romney to sell his promise for change and economic turnaround, while Obama is stuck repeating two difficult-to-sell
arguments: That things could be even worse, and that he has a plan -- it's just not one Congress has any interest in acting on. As Derek Thompson has noted, based on
the economic fundamentals, Obama ought to be doing much worse than he is.
 3. Money : Democrats are convinced they're about to get slammed with a barrage of GOP-aligned spending, and not without reason. Romney has been
outraising Obama for the last three months; in July, the GOP candidate and his party took in $101 million to Obama and the DNC's $75 million.
Obama also has been spending his campaign cash faster than it's coming in, investing up front in staff, field offices, and the early ad blitz
they hope will define Romney. That means the Republicans also now have more cash on hand to spend down the stretch, $170 million to
the Democrats' $144 million as of the end of June. And then there's all the pro-Romney super PACs, which are expected to far outgun their Democratic counterparts,
possibly spending as much as $1 billion. As Obama himself complained at a campaign stop in Colorado Thursday: "Over the next three months, you will see more
negative ads, more money spent than you've ever seen in your life. I mean, these super PACs, these guys are writing $10 million checks and giving them to Mr.
Romney's supporters."
 4. Voter suppression : Thirty-three states have now passed laws requiring voters to show identification, with others,
such as Florida and Colorado, looking to "purge" the voter rolls of those they deem ineligible. Republicans have largely led the
charge for voter ID and related measures, which the left views as a concerted attempt to suppress the vote of minorities and other Democratic-leaning
constituencies; Obama campaign manager Jim Messina described them to me as the second biggest challenge the president faces, after the super PACs. Some the
laws are now tied up in court, such as Pennsylvania's voter ID law, which one Republican state legislator boasted would "allow Gov. Romney to win the state of
Pennsylvania" and which voting-rights groups such as the ACLU call unconstitutional. Another lawsuit brought by the Obama campaign challenges Ohio's attempt to
shorten early voting. The Obama campaign has since the spring been aggressively working to inform supporters of new voting requirements, but many
Democrats are downright fatalistic about the potential for problems at the polls.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                      Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                                  29

                                                         2AC — Elections DA (2/4)
People like transportation infrastructure — it can swing elections – prefer evidence about likely
HNTB 12 — National highway survey polled a random nationwide sample of 1,024 Americans April 2-10, 2012. It was conducted by Kelton
Research. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population ages 18 and over. The margin of error is +/-
3.1 percent. HNTB Corporation is an employee-owned infrastructure firm serving public and private owners and contractors. With nearly a century
of service, HNTB understands the life cycle of infrastructure and solves clients’ most complex technical, financial and operational challenges, 2012
(“Americans value highways and bridges as a national treasure, 5/18, Available Online at: http://news.hntb.com/news-releases/americans-value-
highways-and-bridges-as-a-national-treasure.htm, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

A new survey from HNTB Corporation finds two-thirds (66 percent) of Americans who intend to vote during this year's presidential
election feel that a candidate's standing on              American   transportation infrastructure will influence their decision;                        more than

one in five (22   percent) say this will be extremely influential on who they vote for.                         "Our highways, bridges and other transportation
infrastructure are essential assets that support growth and investment in the U.S. economy," said Pete Rahn, HNTB leader national transportation practice. "People
                                                    hold the nation's infrastructure in high regard. Nearly nine in ten (89
expect them to be resilient, reliable and safe." Clearly, Americans
percent) Americans feel it’s important for the federal government to fund the maintenance and improvements of interstate
highways. Yet, this infrastructure isn’t receiving the fiscal attention it deserves. Congress recently approved the ninth extension of transportation legislation that
originally expired in 2009. The Highway Trust Fund – due to inflation, rising construction costs and increasingly fuel efficient vehicles – no longer collects enough
money to support the U.S. surface transportation system, remaining solvent only through a series of infusions from federal general revenue funds. More than half of
Americans (57 percent) believe the nation’s infrastructure is underfunded. The uncertainty over a long-term bill also is a challenge for state
departments of transportation, which rely heavily on federal funding to support major highway and bridge programs, and creates ambiguity for planners and
contractors who need the certainty of a long-term bill to commit to large, complex multiyear projects. "The absence of a long-term bill is hurting our economic
competitiveness," said Rahn. "Recent efforts by the House and Senate to move discussions into a conference committee and hammer out potential details of a bill are
                                  really needed is a stable, long-term authorization that can adequately pay for our
a step in the right direction, but what’s
transportation system." Overall, 4 in 5 (80 percent) Americans would rather increase funding and improve roads and bridges than
continue current funding levels and risk allowing our roads and bridges deteriorate.

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                                                         2AC — Elections DA (3/4)
Helping the economy will swing the election for Obama
Leonhardt 12 — David Leonhardt, Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, 2012 (“Muddled Economic Picture Muddles the Political
One, Too,” 3/13/2012, Available Online at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/us/politics/economy-plays-biggest-role-in-obama-re-election-
chances.html, Accessed: 8/9/2012)

The final major economic turning point of President Obama’s first term seems to have arrived. The question is which
way the economy will turn. Job growth has picked up nicely in the last few months, raising the prospect that the
American economy is finally in the early stages of a recovery that will gather strength over time. But with gas prices
rising, the government cutting workers and consumers still deep in debt, some forecasters predict that economic growth
— and with it, job growth — will slow in coming months. Politically, the difference between the two situations is vast. In
one, Mr. Obama will be able to campaign on a claim, as he has recently begun to do, that the country is back on track. In
another, he will be left to explain that recoveries from financial crises take years, and to argue that Republicans want to
return to the Bush-era policies that created the crisis — as he tried to argue, unsuccessfully, in the 2010 midterm
election. His approval rating has slipped again in some polls recently, with higher gas prices possibly playing a role. As a
result, the economic numbers over the next couple of months, including an unemployment report on April 6, will have
bigger political implications than the typical batch of data. The Federal Reserve acknowledged the uncertainty in its
scheduled statement on Tuesday, suggesting the economy had improved somewhat but still predicting only “moderate
economic growth.” Economists say the economy’s near-term direction depends relatively little on Mr. Obama’s
economic policies. The standoff over Iran’s nuclear program, the European debt crisis and other events will most likely
affect the economy more. But many American voters are still likely to make their decision based on the economy .
Historically, nothing — not campaign advertisements, social issues or even wars — has influenced voters more heavily
than the direction of the economy in an election year.

Voters will choose based on values, not individual policies
Dickerson 8/11 — John Dickerson, Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail, 2012 (“Rejoice! It’s Ryan!: Conservatives
are thrilled by Romney’s VP pick. So are Democrats. One camp is very wrong,” Slate Magazine, Available Online at:
happy_who_will_be_disappointed_.html, Accessed: 08/11/2012)

Perhaps Romney can take a vision graft from Ryan. He'll have to, because voters won't be lured by Ryan's ideas unless the man at the top of the ticket makes the case
          for all of the talk of a new emphasis on policy specifics , this is still going to be a campaign deeply connected
for them. But
to American values. When Ryan spoke on Saturday, he talked about the threat Obama poses to the American way of life.
Underneath every policy debate will be the argument that when tough choices have to be made about the federal
government, you're going to want candidates who share your values when they're doing the awful math of scarcity.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                  Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                              31

                                                          2AC — Elections DA (4/4)
The manipulator threat is just campaign rhetoric—no real impact.
Shapiro 12 — Ari Shapiro, White House Correspondent for NPR, 2012 (“Romney Aims Tough Talk At China, And Obama,” NPR, July 26th,
Available Online at http://www.npr.org/2012/07/26/157439602/romney-aims-tough-talk-at-china-and-obama, Accessed 08-10-2012)

Romney says he would label China a "currency manipulator" on his first day in office — though it's not clear he could
make that official declaration on his first day, since it would need to come from the Treasury Department. And even
then, the label would not necessarily carry dramatic consequences .
Rhetoric And Reality
Romney's aggressive language upholds a long American tradition, says Christopher Johnson, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies, who has worked for presidents of both parties.
"There have been many presidents who came into office toting a pretty hard line toward the Chinese," Johnson says. "And
then, once arriving in office and kind of trying on the enveloping nature of the bilateral relationship, they realize that it was perhaps a more
complicated situation ."
Chinese leaders know this, they're used to it, and by now everyone largely ignores the campaign rhetoric , says Ennis.
"Mygut is that we wouldn't see any significant changes from what every administration since Richard Nixon has done,
Democratic or Republican," she says.

No risk of a U.S.-China trade war—multiple reasons.
Fletcher 10 — Ian Fletcher, Adjunct Fellow at the San Francisco office of the U.S. Business and Industry Council—a Washington think tank,
2010 (“Don't Fear a Trade War With China,” The Huffington Post, September 28 , Available Online at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ian-
fletcher/dont-fear-a-trade-war-wit_b_742811.html?view=print, Accessed 04-27-2010)

                                                                                                                                  cycle of retaliation
Doomsayers argue that American retaliatory tariffs on Chinese exports would be met by Chinese tariffs on our own exports, producing a
that would choke off trade between the two nations. It is an easy disaster scenario to imagine, especially if one believes the utter myth that such a cycle is
what happened during the Great Depression due to the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930. But this is actually unlikely , for a number of reasons .

For a start, there is the fundamental fact that China   is unlikely to engage in catastrophic escalation because they, not we, are running
the surplus, so they are the ones with something to lose . (China's exports to the U.S. are more than four times America's exports to China.)
The only way a deficit nation can "lose" a trade war is by having its trade balance get even worse. Given that the U.S.
trade balance is already outlandish, it is hard to see how this could happen.
Of course, China has other cards up its sleeve, like threatening to dump its massive dollar reserves. But doing so would carry enormous

 costs for Beijing. For a start, beginning to sell these reserves would reduce the value of the large reserves they would still
be holding. Furthermore, this would depress the value of the dollar -- exactly the opposite of their currency manipulation
strategy. Then there is the awkward problem of what China would do with all the money it would get by selling off its dollars. There just aren't that
 many good alternatives for parking that much money. The Japanese don't want their currency used as an international
reserve currency (and will stymie anyone who tries), and the Euro has huge problems of its own right now. Assets like
gold and minor currencies are volatile or in limited supply. Other assets, like American or European real estate or corporate stocks, are,
by definition, denominated in dollars or euros, so this wouldn't get around the currency problem.
Similarly, China could threaten to stop buying U.S. Treasury debt (which would spike American interest rates), but is constrained by
the fact that this would reduce the value of the $840 billion or so that it already holds. This action would also lower the
price of the dollar by abandoning China's key lever for pushing it up. Furthermore, the U.S. could retaliate by revoking the tax exemption of
interest on foreign-held Treasury debt, established in 1984 by Treasury Secretary Donald Regan. (As a true hypothetical doomsday scenario, we could even suspend
interest payments on the debt, though this would be irresponsibly disruptive and is thus extremely unlikely in peacetime.)

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                                                                HSR is Popular (1/1)
HSR is popular and support is growing
Hart 12 — Thomas Hart Jr., director of government relations at Quarles & Brady, and vice president of government affairs for the US High Speed
Rail Association, 2012 (“High-speed rail's many benefits,” Politico, May 23, 2012, Available Online at:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76682.html, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

In California, where the US High Speed Rail Association is hosting a conference in San Francisco this week, a high-speed rail corridor is also viable because of major
population centers from Sacramento to San Jose to San Francisco, then south through the Central Valley to Los Angeles and San Diego. Gov. Jerry Brown and Dan
Richard, the new chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority are planning to begin construction next year of an 800-mile high-speed rail system connecting
the major cities. This entire project is now projected to be completed over 30 years at a cost of $68 billion. In a state with high unemployment, it is expected to create
an estimated 150,000 jobs during construction, and 450,000 related jobs along the corridor. It is projected to remove more than 1 million automobiles and use only
30 percent of the energy needed for airplanes. A 2008 California ballot proposition authorized financing for initial construction, along with requirements for federal
matching funds. California received some 2009 stimulus funding. It also has a $3.3 billion Department of Transportation grant for construction in the Central Valley,
the backbone of the system, where trains are expected to run at top speeds of 220 mph. The CHSRA is now moving ahead with construction plans for the Central
Valley, due to begin in 2013 and finish in 2017, at a cost of $6 billion. Brown has long been strongly committed to high-speed rail as a transportation alternative for
the state's rapidly growing population. He is supported by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee and co-
chairwoman of the conference committee of the surface transportation bill, and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), whose slogan "It's About Time" has
become a rallying cry for progressive Californians. The political   winds are beginning to shift, and some elected officials see that there
 can be political consequences from strongly opposing high-speed rail. The governors on record as opposing projects are
among the least popular - including Rick Scott in Florida, who rejected federal money. A new political group is now forming Republicans
for Rail. There is also talk of starting a rail super PAC to generate money and grass-roots support for additional rail transit investments. If this
political shift continues in the crucial 2012 elections, prospects for U.S. high-speed rail, particularly along the East and West Coasts, could
finally brighten.

Voters love HSR – perceive economic benefit and view as key issue
Rockefeller Foundation 11 — Survey Methodology: From January 29 to February 6, 2011, Hart Research (D) and Public Opinion
Strategies (R) conducted a national survey of voters on behalf of the Rockefeller
Foundation, 2011 (“The Rockefeller Foundation Infrastructure Survey,” Rockefeller Foundation, February 2011, Available Online at:
http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/uploads/files/80e28432-0790-4d42-91ec-afb6d11febee.pdf, Accessed 08/13/2012)

The public understands the economic benefits of infrastructure improvement. Four in five (80%) voters agree that
federal funding to improve and modernize transportation “will boost local economies and create millions of jobs from
construction to manufacturing to engineering.” Just 19% disagree with this. And 79% agree that “in order for the United States to remain
the world’s top economic superpower we need to modernize our transportation infrastructure and keep it up to date.” Again, 19%
disagree. In fact, voters are in strong agreement with President Obama’s ideas on investment in transportation. Survey respondents
were read excerpts from the president’s State of the Union address related to transportation and asked their reaction. “The American Dream has required
each generation to sacrifice and meet the demands of a new age. We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. We need
the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information—from high-speed rail to high-speed Internet. So over the last two years, we've begun
rebuilding for the 21st century, a project that has meant thousands of good jobs for the hard-hit construction industry. We should redouble those efforts. We'll put
more Americans to work repairing crumbling roads and bridges. We'll make sure this is fully paid for, attract private investment, and pick projects based on what's
                                                   80% of voters agree with this statement, including 46% who strongly agree,
best for the economy, not what's best for politicians.” Fully
while 19% say they disagree. Agreement is nearly unanimous among Democrats (95%) and is exceptionally high among
independents (75%) and Republicans (66%). Indeed, 91% agree with the specific idea that “our generation has a
responsibility to the future to invest in America's infrastructure--just as our parents and grandparents did”; only 8% disagree with this

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                          Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                      33

                                                Public Transit is Popular (1/1)
Voters support public transit — want expansions
Rockefeller Foundation 11 — Survey Methodology: From January 29 to February 6,                 2011, Hart Research (D) and Public Opinion
Strategies (R) conducted a national survey of voters on behalf of the Rockefeller
Foundation, 2011 (“The Rockefeller Foundation Infrastructure Survey,” Rockefeller Foundation, February 2011, Available Online at:
http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/uploads/files/80e28432-0790-4d42-91ec-afb6d11febee.pdf, Accessed 08/13/2012)

But Americans want changes in the way the Federal government invests in infrastructure and makes policy. Two-thirds
of respondents favored 9 of 10 reforms tested in the survey, with 90 supporting more accountability and certification
that projects are delivered on time and fit into a national plan. In terms of priorities, a vast majority (80 percent) believe
the country would benefit from an expanded and improved public transportation system and 57 percent believe that
“safer streets for our communities and children” should be the one of the top two priorities if more money is to be
invested in infrastructure

Public transportation popular — perceived as a good value
SGA 11 — Smart Growth America, 2011 (“Virginia Smart Transportation: Save Money and Grow the Economy,” Virginia Report, Feb, Available
online at: http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/documents/smart-transportation-virginia.pdf, Accessed: 8/13/2012)

Public transportation is popular with voters November 2010 National Poll by Hart Research Associates: 73% of those polled rated “the number of jobs
created in the long term that would remain in [my] community” as the most important factor in developing the state transportation plan. 61% regardless of
their party affiliation (and 57% of Independents) said they would feel more positively about a governor who favors a plan that “provides more
choices such as buses, carpools, light rail, van service, and commuter rail.” 64% said “buses, carpools, light rail, van service, and commuter rail
were a good or very good value for the cost.” March 2010 National Poll by Public Opinion Strategies and Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz &
Associates: 66% of respondents agreed they would like more transportation options available to them. 69% agreed their community
would benefit from an expanded and improved public transportation system.

Overwhelming bipartisan public support for public transportation infrastructure
Rockefeller Foundation 11 — Survey Methodology: From January 29 to February 6, 2011, Hart Research (D) and Public Opinion
Strategies (R) conducted a national survey of voters on behalf of the Rockefeller
Foundation, 2011 (“The Rockefeller Foundation Infrastructure Survey,” Available Online at:
http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/uploads/files/80e28432-0790-4d42-91ec-afb6d11febee.pdf, Accessed: 8/13/2012)

Even with a highly polarized electorate that remains steadfast in its belief that things in the nation are off on the wrong track there is wide
agreement—across the partisan spectrum—that leaders in Washington should be seeking common ground. Nowhere is
this more true than legislation related to the country’s transportation infrastructure. Indeed, two in three voters say that
making improvements in infrastructure is very important, and most voters say that in its current state the nation’s
transportation system is barely adequate. Voters seek better and safer roads and more public transportation options, widely
agreeing that the United States would benefit from an expanded and improved public transportation system.

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2012-2013                                                                                                                                                  34

                                                          NextGen is Popular (1/1)
Overwhelming public support for the plan—recent polls prove.
Examiner 11 — The Examiner, 2011 (“Most people support funding for the FAA,” Byline Pierre A. Kandorfer, April 10             th
                                                                                                                                , Available Online at
http://www.examiner.com/article/most-people-support-funding-for-the-faa, Accessed 08-14-2012)

Polls show that US taxpayers want to cut the funding for most government agencies. However, the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) is an exception .

New polls conducted on behalf of the Aerospace Industries Association shows considerable public support for fully funding the Federal
Aviation Administration and the Next Generation Air Transportation System.
"It's critical that Congress fund the FAA by passing a fiscal year 2011 appropriations bill," said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. "More continuing resolutions
will further erode FAA's ability to implement the much needed Next Generation Air Transportation System in a timely manner."
According to media reports, passing a full-year appropriations measure will allow FAA to enter into new contracts, move forward with new construction, hire more
safety inspectors and certify new technology—activities prohibited under stop-gap continuing resolutions that only allow spending on previously authorized projects.
Reportedly, the   public supports spending on aviation safety . A poll conducted in early March shows 68 percent of Americans
support new technologies to improve air safety. Furthermore, 65 percent favor maintaining or increasing FAA funding
levels. Only 19 percent polled favor cutting FAA's budget. Finally, a majority of Americans knowledgeable about FAA's
                                     support its timely implementation .
satellite-based NextGen air traffic control system
"Americans support improving our aviation system," Blakey said. "Funding NextGen is important. It will make our safe skies safer,
reduce congestion and delays and improve aviation's environmental stewardship."

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2012-2013                                                                                                                                 35

                                           Extend: “Romney Will Win” (1/2)
Romney can win — Obama will run out of money
Associated Press 8/7 — Julie Pace, Staffwriter, 2012 (“Romney trounces Obama in fundraising for 3rd month,” Available Online at:
Accessed: 8/10/2012)

Can President Barack Obama raise the money he needs to hold onto the White House?
Money wasn't supposed to be a worry for the president's campaign, which smashed fundraising records in 2008. But Mitt Romney's team
has hauled in more than Obama and his allies for a third straight month, raising the once-unthinkable question.
While the race for voter support is tight, according to polls, Romney's robust fundraising and a crush of money from Republican-leaning
political action committees have forced the president's campaign to spend heavily through the summer.
Highlighting the challenge for Obama, Romney on Monday reported a July fundraising haul of more than $101 million along with the
Republican National Committee, compared to the $75 million that Obama's campaign said it had brought in along with the Democratic
National Committee.

Ignore pro-Obama national polls — too early and contradictory data
Silver 8/9 — Nate Silver, chief pollster for New York Times’ 538 election polling center. Regarded as top-level pollster based on distinct
mathematical models chief pollster for New York Times’ 538 election polling center. Regarded as top-level pollster based on distinct mathematical
models, 2012 (“Aug. 9: National Polls Shouldn’t Panic Romney,” FiveThirtyEight Blog, Available Online at:
http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/09/aug-9-national-polls-shouldnt-panic-romney/#more-32980, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

President Obama got a couple of very good-looking polls on Thursday. A CNN poll put him seven points ahead of Mitt Romney in the
national race. And a Fox News poll gave Mr. Obama a nine-point lead.
Some polling firms, like Pew Research, have consistently shown strong numbers for Mr. Obama. When a polling firm like that prints another strong
number for him, it isn’t necessarily news.
Mr. Romney cannot use that excuse in the case of the Fox News and CNN polls. CNN’s surveys so far this cycle have had essentially no partisan
lean, whereas Fox News’s polls have shown a modest Republican one. Mr. Obama’s number was strong not just in an absolute sense, but also
relative to their earlier polls.
In the Real Clear Politics average of national polls, Mr. Obama’s lead grew to 4.4 percentage points on Thursday. That’s his largest lead by its
method since early April, when Mitt Romney was just starting to recover from a rough stretch in the primary campaign.
And yet, despite all that, I think the importance of these new polls could easily be overstated — and probably will be by some in
the news media.
One problem is that the trend toward Mr. Obama in national polls has hardly been uniform. The Gallup national tracking poll
has shown a very flat race. And Rasmussen Reports had a swing toward Mr. Romney in its release on Thursday, with his
pulling ahead by four points in its survey. Weekly tracking polls from Public Policy Polling and YouGov have also not shown especially good
numbers for Mr. Obama lately. If there had really been a shift in the race of the magnitude that the Real Clear Politics average implies — it
has Mr. Obama gaining three points on Mr. Romney over roughly the past 10 days — we probably wouldn’t be seeing these contradictory
data points.
Perhaps more importantly, there hasn’t really been a lot of news to drive something on the order of a three-point swing toward Mr.
Obama. There have been far more momentous news events at earlier stages of the campaign, like the Supreme Court’s ruling on Mr. Obama’s
health care bill, or the set of poor jobs reports in April through June, that didn’t seem to move the numbers much at all. So your default
position should be one of skepticism toward the numbers having moved very much.
Might Mr. Obama have gained half a point, or a point, based on whatever residual factors that voters are thinking about? Sure, and Mr. Romney
would rather that movement be in his direction instead. But has Mr. Obama gained three points, at a time when most ordinary Americans are
watching the Olympics? Probably not.
From a more technical standpoint, my research suggests that one should not be overly eager to chase down the latest trend at this
stage of the campaign. Some of our friendly competitors, like Talking Points Memo, use a technique called Loess regression to calculate a
polling trendline. Our methodology is not quite the same as theirs, but we do use a version of Loess regression to calculate our trendline

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                                         Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                                                     36

                                                        Extend: “Romney Will Win” (2/2)
Voter suppression allows GOP win
Noah 8/9 — Timothy Noah, senior editor for The New Republic, 2012 (“Masters of voter suppression: Republicans employ many techniques to keep low-
income voters away from the polls,” The New Republic, Available Online at: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/perspectives/masters-of-voter-
suppression-republicans-employ-many-techniques-to-keep-low-income-voters-away-from-the-polls-648218/#ixzz23AOtnoAX, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

The GOP is supposed to pretend that its 2012 strategy doesn't include the systematic disenfranchisement of lower-
income blacks and Latinos. But in June, Mike Turzai, Republican majority leader of the Pennsylvania House, blew his party's
cover by blurting out: "Voter ID, which is going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania? Done."
The liberal press was jubilant. It was as if Koch Enterprises had acknowledged global warming.
Since at least 2008, when minority voters gave Barack Obama his victory margin -- the president won only 43 percent of the white vote -
- Republicans have increasingly relied on voter suppression to counterbalance the steady shrinkage of America's white majority.
Former Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer (currently under indictment for stealing party funds) stated in a deposition released in July that a 2009 party meeting included discussion of "voter
suppression and keeping blacks from voting."
In December, Paul Schurick, a top aide to former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich, was convicted of election fraud for using automated phone calls to suppress the African-American vote during
Mr. Ehrlich's unsuccessful 2010 bid. "The first and most desired outcome is voter suppression," stated one consultant's memo entered into evidence. It described a "Schurick Doctrine" to
"promote confusion, emotionalism and frustration among African-American Democrats."
Most of the disenfranchisement is less obviously crude and presented to the public as hygienic electoral reform. But the pathogens it seeks to remove are African-Americans, Latinos and
other lower-income folks who resist voting Republican. You've probably heard something about it, but Mr. Turzai's gaffe invites us to review, with open eyes, how this racket actually works.
It's an obscenity no longer hiding in plain sight.
Voter ID
This is the preeminent tool. Attorney General Eric Holder has correctly likened voter ID laws, which have passed in 33 states, to poll taxes. Their popularity
derives from their reasonableness. Why shouldn't we prevent imposters from committing electoral identity theft? Because it solves a nonexistent problem.
New York University Law School's Brennan Center for Justice has calculated that the incidence of individual voter fraud is equivalent to the incidence of individual
Americans getting struck by lightning. Even the lawyers defending Pennsylvania's voter ID law stipulated in court that the state knew of no incidents of in-person
            laws are useful for is reducing voter participation by you know who. Requiring an unexpired government ID, a bank
What voter ID
                                      an unexpired government photo ID, such as a driver's license or a passport, is better, because
statement or a utility bill works well. Requiring
about 25 percent of African-Americans and 16 percent of Latinos don't have any -- as against 11 percent of the general population.
The nine states with the strictest photo ID requirements are mostly rural, which means the government offices where such ID can be obtained are likelier to be far
away and to keep irregular hours. The Woodville, Miss., office is open only on the second Thursday of every month. Wisconsin's Sauk City office is open only on the
fifth Wednesday of every month, and since eight months in 2012 don't even have a fifth Wednesday, the office will open its doors only four days this year.
Voter registration
Before you vote, you have to register. Five states now require proof of citizenship with an unexpired passport (something fewer than one-third of
Americans possess) or a birth certificate or a naturalization certificate (to which about 7 percent lack easy access). Since acquiring these documents can easily cost as
much as $100, this      requirement has the virtue of weeding out both legal immigrants and the native-born poor. The ostensible target
is undocumented immigrants, but they have even less incentive to commit voter fraud than American citizens do: In addition to steep fines and imprisonment, they'd risk deportation.
Another tactic, favored in Texas and Florida, is to target nonprofit groups that conduct voter-registration drives (the League of Women Voters, the National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People). This is achieved by imposing onerous new training, registration and/or liability burdens on the groups' volunteers. The proportion of African-American and Latino voters
who register through third-party drives is about twice what it is for whites.
Closing the polls
Since lower-income voters more often work early in the morning or late at night, Republicans tend to favor shorter
polling hours. They justify this with feigned concern about taxing the stamina of (often elderly) volunteers.
A similarly motivated opposition has mobilized against early voting arrangements that let people vote on weekends. Sunday voting is a particular target. The stated
reason is that it's impious. (Glenn Beck: "This is an affront to God.") The actual reason is that Sunday voting allows black churches to provide "souls to polls" transport
after services. Ohio and Florida have eliminated it.
States have to update their voter lists, right? Federal law requires certain safeguards, such as notifying those found ineligible so they can dispute erroneous removals.
But many such formalities go unobserved, especially if you purge close enough to Election Day.
                                             letters are sent to voters in African-American neighborhoods. Whichever
A variation on purging is caging, wherein nonforwardable
letters get returned unopened occasion instant purges. The Republican National Committee got caught doing this in the 1980s, and now the
party is not allowed to under a consent decree. But considerable evidence suggests the GOP has quietly resumed the practice anyway.
Automated phone calls are used to discourage people from going to the polls. Before the failed June vote to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a
robocall said anyone who signed the recall petition to recall him needn't vote (which wasn't true). Maryland's Mr. Schurick put out a robocall in 2010 assuring voters in African-American
neighborhoods that his candidate's Democratic opponent, Gov. Martin O'Malley, was well ahead (and thus unlikely to need more votes).
The GOP has other, similarly repulsive schemes afoot, but these are the most egregious. As for the Republican nominee: Don't hold your breath waiting for Mitt Romney to condemn
something his party sees as essential to victory.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                      Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                                  37

                         Extend: “People Like Transportation Infrastructure” (1/1)
Don’t be fooled – Transportation infrastructure is a surprisingly powerful issue.
ADS 12 — A.D.S. Logistics, This article internally quotes the HNTB Report, a survey conducted by Kelton Research – Our staff of authors at ADS
Logistics are pulled from all of our different divisions. Collectively they have over 100 years of experience in the metals, transportation, and supply
chain management industry, which they comb through on a daily basis to bring you the best and most important information that you need to
know, 2012 (ADS Logistics Supply Chain Management Blog – “Transportation Infrastructure Weighs Heavy on the Minds of Voters” – May 29, 2012,
Available Online at: http://www.adslogistics.com/blog/bid/78595/Transportation-Infrastructure-Weighs-Heavy-on-the-Minds-of-Voters, Accessed:

With all the political issues you will be hearing about as the election nears, one important topic that will be on many Americans’
minds may surprise you. The transportation infrastructure concerns many in this country, and it will be heavily considered

before voters decide who they want for the next president.                            In fact, according to Truckinginfo, about   two thirds of American
voters claim that each candidate’s stance on transportation infrastructure will help them vote. This is not exactly a hot button
issue that you may see discussed on the news frequently, but it is clearly important to the average voter. The survey, which was conducted by HNTB
Corp., also discovered the following results: 89% of citizens surveyed feel that federal funding is crucial to improve interstate highways. More than 80% wish to
                                                                                                                people may not
increase current funding for highways. 57% claimed that this country’s infrastructure is underfunded. Why Do Voters Care? Though
discuss this issue as much as they talk about hot topics, it is easy to see why it is important to most. When highways and bridges are left to
deteriorate, they become unsafe for travel. In addition, when new roads and bridges are not being built as the population grows, travel becomes more difficult. A
crumbling infrastructure is not just unsafe, it is also unappealing, as some older roads and bridges have simply become eyesores that passers-by and local residents
                              additional money into improving the infrastructure, therefore, can increase safety, travel, and
alike do not want to look at. Putting
appeal. So it should be obvious now why so many voters will consider this issue when voting in the upcoming election

Link turn outweighs — voters support infrastructure spending despite worries about
Washington Post 12 — Ashley Halsey III, Staff Writer, 2012 (“Infrastructure projects need public support, transportation experts say,”
4/24/2012, Available Online at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/experts-want-to-build-public-support-for-
infrastructure-projects/2012/04/23/gIQAvmMXcT_story.html, Accessed: 08/10/2012)

The plan to energize public support was outlined Monday in a report by transportation experts brought together by the Miller Center at the University of Virginia.
After a conference in November, the group concluded that most      Americans are aware of the infrastructure crisis and support spending
 to address it. "Recent public-opinion surveys have found overwhelming support for the idea of infrastructure
investment," the report said. "After the 'bridge to nowhere' controversies of recent years, the public has become sensitized to
issues of pork-barrel spending and understandably demands to see a clear connection between federal expenditures, actual transportation needs, and
economic benefits." Despite apprehension about wasteful spending , the report said, more than two-thirds of voters surveyed by
the Rockefeller Foundation said infrastructure improvement was important and 80 percent said spending on it would create
millions of jobs. The transportation group, co-chaired by former transportation secretaries Norman Y. Mineta and Samuel K. Skinner, compiled a comprehensive
study on infrastructure in 2010. That report estimated that an additional $134 billion to $262 billion must be spent per year through 2035 to rebuild and improve
roads, rail systems and air transportation.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                              Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                          38

                       Extend: “Helping the Economy Good for Obama” (1/1)
Economy is the key issue — Plan gives Obama a jobs proposal
Bennett 7-11 — William J. Bennett, Political Analyst for CNN, Former Secretary of Education, 2012 (“Obama's running out of excuses on
economy”, 7/11/2012, Available Online at: http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/11/opinion/bennett-obama-economy-excuses/index.html?hpt=hp_c2,
Accessed: 8/9/2012)

The White House is running out of time, and ideas, for turning the economy around before the fall elections. Almost
three years into recovery, the U.S. economy added only 80,000 jobs in June, marking its third consecutive month of poor
job growth. The Wall Street Journal noted that the United States gained just 225,000 jobs in the past three months
combined, making it the weakest quarter of job growth since the labor market began to recover in 2010. The
unemployment rate, still 8.2%, has been stuck above 8% for 41 straight months, the longest streak since the Great
Depression. A government report found that 85,000 Americans left the workforce in June to enroll in the Social Security
Disability Insurance program. That means that more workers joined the federal government's disability program in June
than got new jobs. How did the White House respond to the anemic report? "There are no quick fixes to the problems
we face that were more than a decade in the making," Alan Krueger, chairman of the President's Council of Economic
Advisers, said in a written statement. In other words, any chances for economic recovery before the fall elections look
slim. More importantly, there is a profound lack of urgency from the White House for any large scale, serious reforms. In
fact, Krueger went on to claim the economy really isn't as bad as we think. "The economy has now added private sector
jobs for 28 straight months, for a total of 4.4 million payroll jobs during that period," he said. The obvious problem here
is that Obama has been president for more than 40 months. The White House conveniently blames Republicans for
decades of lost jobs, but forgets to mention the United States lost 4.3 million jobs in President Obama's first 13 months
in office. Krueger concluded, "[I]t is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is informative to
consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available." This isn't the first time the White House
has used this excuse. In fact, the Romney campaign was quick to put together a list of the 30 times the White House has
used this same excuse, dating back to November 2009. Is the White House perhaps telling us something more
significant: that we shouldn't read too much into the entire term of Barack Obama's presidency? In Ohio on Friday,
Obama excused the jobs report by again claiming he inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression. He added
that the jobs report is "a step in the right direction" and that "it's still tough out there." The president appears
intellectually and ideologically spent, and it's not just Republicans saying that. Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor in
the Clinton administration, wrote recently, "[T]he excuse is wearing thin. It's his economy now , and most voters don't
care what he inherited." He added, "[H]e has to show he understands the depth and breadth of this crisis." It's not so
clear the president does. On Monday, he again called to repeal the Bush tax cuts on the highest earners, a contentious
partisan issue that the public knows will not be solved before the elections. In his weekly address he continued to push
for more construction projects and increased financial aid for college students. Even to Keynesian economists on the
left these are hardly bold policies a party can rally behind. The economy is shaping up to be the most important factor
of the 2012 elections, yet the president seems content to rest his re-election chances on worn-out, recycled policy
proposals and ad hominem attacks on Mitt Romney. It's hard to see how this is a winning strategy .

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                            39

                               Extend: “Voters Will Choose on Values” (1/1)
Voters decide based on personal characteristics, not specific issues
Hendrickson 8/14 — Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson, adjunct faculty member, economist, and fellow for economic and social policy with The
Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College in Pennsylvania, 2012 (“Obama's popularity with young voters,” The Times and Democrat,
Available Online at: http://thetandd.com/news/opinion/columns/obama-s-popularity-with-young-voters/article_743ab778-e58a-11e1-8e56-
0019bb2963f4.html, Accessed: 8/14/2012)

As significant as the ideological factor is for explaining the millennials’ support for him, the president’s personal attractiveness
to them looms equally large. Indeed, the young are not unique in voting in response to a presidential candidate’s likability.
We have known at least since the Kennedy-Nixon race (JFK’s fresh-faced handsomeness contrasted with Nixon’s off-putting jowly, 5 o’clock
shadow during their televised debates) that many Americans vote for a president on the basis of the wrapping rather than the
contents of the package—the triumph of image over substance. This may not speak well for our country’s political maturity, or perhaps even
for democracy itself, but personality often trumps policy.

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2012-2013                                                                                                                                                      40

                                               Extend: “Romney Won’t Label” (1/1)
Romney won’t follow through—Republican opposition and business interests will force him to pivot
away from campaign rhetoric.
Bridges Weekly 12 — Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest—a publication of the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable
Development, 2012 (“US Presidential Candidates Zero in on China Trade Practices,” Volume 16, Number 28, July 18 , Available Online at
http://ictsd.org/i/news/bridgesweekly/138543/, Accessed 08-10-2012)

         Romney campaign argues that Obama has not gone far enough. In a memo issued last week, policy director Lanhee
However the
Chen lambasted the US President’s policies toward China during his first term in office. The memo specifically criticised
the Obama administration for not formally declaring China a “currency manipulator,” highlighting the long-standing issue of Beijing’s
strict valuation of its currency and its possible effects on US export competitiveness.
But while     Romney has pledged to name China a “currency manipulator” on his first day in office, should he win this November’s
election,   it is unclear whether he will find enough support among lawmakers, including those among his own party .
While a law that effectively targets China for its strict valuation of its currency successfully made it through the US Senate late last year - largely through the support
of several Democrats - the     effort has stalled in the Republican-led House , despite calls from Democrats for the House leadership to
bring the bill to the floor.
                                                                   openly disagreed with the former Massachusetts governor’s
Notably, Speaker of the House John Boehner, who like Romney is a Republican, has
proposed approach toward the China currency issue, telling reporters last week that his long-standing opposition to
legislation that would label Beijing a “currency manipulator” still stands .
                                     the rhetoric on China might not actually translate to legislation by either candidate
However, trade observers note that much of
upon winning office, given that Beijing and Washington also have many areas in which they cooperate.
“There is a precedent for politicians to say one thing on trade as candidates” only to find a different reality upon taking

 office , Dan Ikenson of the Cato Institute, a Washington-based libertarian think tank, commented to Bridges.
“I don’t see trade policy being completely disrupted with a change of administration,” Ikenson added. “Romney is going to
listen to what the business community wants. And frankly I don’t see Romney being as tough on China as his rhetoric
 suggests .”
“My guess is, whoever is elected, the temperature on China will go down,” Gary Clyde Hufbauer, a Senior Fellow at the Washington-based
Peterson Institute for International Economics, noted.

GFCA Novice Packet                                                                                                                     Election Disadvantage
2012-2013                                                                                                                                                 41

                                            Extend: “No Impact to Labeling” (1/1)
No risk of trade wars—history proves.
Fletcher 10 — Ian Fletcher, Adjunct Fellow at the San Francisco office of the U.S. Business and Industry Council—a Washington think tank,
2010 (“The Mythical Concept of Trade War,” truthout, April 9 , Available Online at http://www.truthout.org/the-mythical-concept-trade-
war58440, Accessed 04-27-2010)

As Americans ponder how to get the US out of its current trade mess, we are constantly warned to do nothing - like impose a tariff to neutralize Chinese currency
manipulation - that would trigger a "trade war." Supposedly, no matter how bad our problems with our trading partners get, they are less bad than the spiraling
catastrophe that would ensue if we walked a single inch away from our current policy of unilateral free trade.
                            concept of trade war is that, unlike an actual shooting war, it has no historical precedent . In fact, the reality is
But the curious thing about the
that there has never been a significant trade war, "significant" in the sense of having done serious economic damage. All history records are
 minor skirmishes at best .
The standard example free traders give is that America's Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930 either caused the Great Depression or made it spread around the
world. But this canard does not survive serious examination and has actually been denied by almost every economist who
has actually researched the question in depth - a group ranging from Paul Krugman on the left to Milton Friedman on the right.
The Depression's cause was monetary. The Fed allowed the money supply to balloon during the late 1920s, piling up in the stock market as a bubble. It then panicked,
miscalculated and let it collapse by a third by 1933, depriving the economy of the liquidity it needed to breathe. Trade had nothing to do with it.
As for the charge that Smoot caused the Depression to spread worldwide: it was too small a change to have plausibly so large an effect. For a start, it only applied to
about one-third of America's trade: about 1.3 percent of our GDP. Our average tariff on dutiable goods went from 44.6 to 53.2 percent - not a terribly big jump.
Tariffs were higher in almost every year from 1821 to 1914. Our tariff went up in 1861, 1864, 1890 and 1922 without producing global depressions, and the
recessions of 1873 and 1893 managed to spread worldwide without tariff increases.
Neither does the myth of a death spiral of retaliation by foreign nations hold water. According to the official State Department report on this question in 1931:
With the exception of discriminations in France, the extent of discrimination against American commerce is very slight ... By far the largest number of countries do
not discriminate against the commerce of the United States in any way.
"Notorious" Smoot-Hawley is a deliberately fabricated myth , plain and simple.
There is a basic unresolved paradox at the bottom of the very concept of trade war. If, as free traders insist, free trade is
beneficial whether or not one's trading partners reciprocate, then why would any rational nation start one, no matter
how provoked? The only way to explain this is to assume that major national governments like the Chinese and the US -
governments which, whatever bad things they may have done, have managed to hold nuclear weapons for decades without nuking each other over trivial spats - are
not players of realpolitik, but schoolchildren .
When the money men in Beijing, Tokyo, Berlin, and the other nations currently running trade surpluses against the US start to ponder the financial realpolitik of
exaggerated retaliation against the US for any measures we may employ to bring our trade back into balance, they will discover the advantage is with us, not them -
because they are the ones with trade surpluses to lose, not us. So, our position of weakness is actually a position of strength.
Supposedly, China can suddenly stop buying our Treasury debt if we rock the boat. But this would immediately reduce the value of the trillion or so they already hold
- not to mention destroying, by making their hostility overt, the fragile (and desperately-tended) delusion in the US that America and China are still benign economic
"partners" in a win-win economic relationship.
At the end of the day, China cannot force us to do anything economically that we don't choose to. America is still a nuclear power. We can - an irresponsible, but not
impossible scenario - repudiate our debt to them (or stop paying the interest) as the ultimate counter move to anything they might contemplate. More plausibly, we
might simply restore the tax on the interest on foreign-held bonds that was repealed in 1984 thanks to Treasury Secretary Donald Regan.
A certain amount of back-and-forth token retaliation (and loud squealing) is indeed likely if America starts defending its interests
in trade as diligently as our trading partners have been defending theirs, but that's it . After all, the world trading system
has survived their trade barriers long enough without collapsing.


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