The Instigator
proglib
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
1Historygenius
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Extremism Cost Conservatives the U.S. Presidency

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
1Historygenius
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/3/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,718 times Debate No: 27758
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (34)
Votes (6)

 

proglib

Pro

This debate might be called "Crying Wolf Helped Conservatives Lose U.S. Presidency, 2nd Try."* Iamnotwhoiam ate my lunch in my first debate. (It may not have been more than a snack, either. I hope to make someone work for a multi-course meal this time:)

First round is for acceptance.

* http://www.debate.org...
1Historygenius

Con

I Gracefully Accept Your Challenge
Debate Round No. 1
proglib

Pro

First, thank you very much 1historygenius for graciously accepting this debate.

2nd, though I ask for no special consideration, I will apologize to my opponent and the voters/readers in advance for shortcuts in typing that I will take due to an injury to my left shoulder that means that I usually will be typing one handed or using voice input.

DEFINITIONS
1. Extremism is NOT assumed to be a bad thing. Extremism will be defined simply as positions that are a certain distance from the norm. (We may want to discuss offline how far-#std deviations, for example.)

For example, a position on abortion from either absolute would be considered "extreme," under this definition simply because *most* voters fall somewhere in between (assuming for sake of argument that polls show this to be true.)

Assuming my opponent accepts this definition, it should be easier to agree on a number of positions that conservatives included in their message, defined broadly, that are far enough outside the norm (defined statistically) that we both can agree to say "yes, that is an extreme position, even if one of us agrees with it.

If we get that agreement, my task will be to show these positions cost the Republican ticket the presidency. I.e., these extreme positions resulted in the Romney/Ryan ticket getting less votes than they would have, or (and this is important) resulted in people voting for President Obama who otherwise might not have.


Since there are 5 rounds, I hope we can spread preparatory discussion over rounds 2 and 3, at least.

This is not intended to be a semantic debate.
1Historygenius

Con

I thank my opponent for opening this debate and I understand how he defines extremism and what the rules of the debate are. However, in future debates I think it would be better if my opponent only clarify things in the first or second rounds and not go further as this wastes rounds that should be used more debates rather than resolving rules and definitions.
Debate Round No. 2
proglib

Pro

I thank my esteemed opponent for his acceptance.

To reiterate (and clarify) then, we are discussing extremism in the descriptive, not the normative sense. One of my favorite quotes (and part of my signature on DDO) is of Barry Goldwater from the 1964 presidential campaign: “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.” To which I usually add: “Except that in a democracy it often loses elections.”

Main argument:
My argument is, simply, that on enough hot button issues the GOP took an extreme (and, in at least several cases, absolutist) position, and that this position alienated enough voters in swing states this was enough to cost the GOP presidential ticket the race.

It is my contention that this election was the conservatives to lose, and they, indeed, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with their (in my opinion, unnecessarily) extremist positions on several ideological issues. Had the former governor of Massachusetts been allowed to run as the moderately conservative politician that he probably is, he would have won this election easily.

Supporting arguments:
1. Since the economy was the most important issue to most voters,[citation available, if requested] And the Romney Ryan [RR] ticket was more trusted on that issue, though by a small margin,[citation available, if requested] the RR ticket should have done better in the election.

2. First example: Abortion
A large percentage of Americans [over 70%] consistently have said that some or all abortions should be legal. Over 15% consistently have said that a candidate's position on abortion determines their vote for or against that candidate.[1]

By simple math, then: over 15% of over 70% would vote against the candidate who seems to have a position against their own on abortion. Conservatively, that would make over 9% of voters susceptible to voting against the Romney/Ryan ticket on the basis of their association with this absolutist position of the Republican party (and the extremists driving the conservative agenda since at least 2009 or so.) While Romney/Ryan tried to run away from the association with this position, a reasonable person would say that many undecided voters, especially women were likely to be effected by it--especially as Ryan agrees with it, and Romney has shown a willingness to change his position. (A realist would say he changes it based on political expediency, IMHO.)

If one only looks at undecided voters at the beginning of 2012 and at the time of the election, one would likely find several percent of voters who would fall into the category described above. (They say they would vote against a candidate based on his/her position on abortion.)

Conclusion for this round:
If my opponent or the DDO voters accept this line of argument, then all that is left to me is to provide the statistical evidence in enough swing states and on enough issues. (I’m guessing the abortion/woman’s-right-to-some-choice in her reproductive decisions post-intercourse issue would be enough to make the election at least a toss up in swing states.)

An attempt at removing a possible counter-argument:
Saying "extremism provided conservatives a motivated base" only shows how important extremism, as opposed to tactical politics necessary to win elections, was in driving the conservative agenda in 2012. Comparable extremists on the liberal side were able to sublimate their positions on a number of issues to accept a compromise position from the democratic ticket. (For example, there were many supporters of “single payer” health care who held their noses and voted for Obama Biden--especially in swing states. I know of a number of my liberal/progressive friends in California who bragged about voting for the Green Party ticket, and suggested others should “send a message,” because it was a safe throwaway of their vote.)

Citations:
[1] http://www.gallup.com...
1Historygenius

Con

I thank my opponent for opening such a great debate.


Obama Would Have Won Anyway

The Real Clear Politics Average showed that only election day President Obama had a 2.8% lead in his approval ratings the day before the election. He had 50% in the RCP average while his disapproval was 47.2%. On election day, Obama won 50.9% of the popular vote while Romney had 47.3% so the approval poll was very accurate. [1]

This concludes that nothing could have led Romney to win the general election. The first debate did not do it (which was all about the economy), which means nothing could have helped Romney win.

Many Americans See the Economy Improving

The first debate on the economy did not make Romney win. All it did was give him a boost in the polls which did little to change the showing. Obama still won the five key battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin (Paul Ryan's home state) and New Hampshire. The only real battleground state left would be North Carolina which went for Romney.

According to the Gallup poll, the overwhelming majority of the people did focus on the economy. This would be 72% in October. In November, it was 64%. This has proved that people less fear the economic problems because President Obama was able to convince them that the economy was improving. In addition, 26% in October thought of unemployment and jobs as being a huge issue. That dropped to 20%. Please remember unemployment dropped to which helped the president. More people having jobs meant more people convinced the economy was improving. [2]

Radical Issues Had No Effect

According to Gallup, only 1% of the people cared about abortion and less than 1% cared about gay marriage as a major issue. Banning both these things completely could be considered radical by some and yet have no effect on how they vote. [2]

Also, while my opponent can consider these topics radical in this debate, not everyone might think these issues are actually radical. My opponent's own Gallup poll does not help him. In the United States, many people can wind their thoughts on abortion to pro-life or pro-choice. The Gallup poll shows that in 2012 50% of the people call themselves pro-life while 41% consider themselves pro-choice. Romney is obviously more pro-choice. [3]

Most People Are Democrats

Gallup ran its September poll and found that 49% of the people consider themselves Democrat, 39% Republican, and 13% are indepedents or others. This means all the Democrats needed was 1.9% to get to that 50.9% Obama won by.

Conclusion

I have proved there was no way for Romney to win and that is why Obama won the way he did (with an improving economy).

Sources will be posted later, sorry I am very busy right now.
Debate Round No. 3
proglib

Pro

I'll take my opponent's easier (to my mind) arguments first:

"Radical Issues Had No Effect"

His second paragraph first:
He conflates pro-life with opposition to all legalized abortion. Very simply, I was talking about the more than 70% [consistently] over the last 37 years or so that have said that they think some choice should be legal. This in no way excludes all of them from the category of the 50% in 2012 [HG's (3)] of people who call themselves "pro-life."

Since my opponent has allowed that I may include "no abortions, no exceptions" as extreme, though, it is immaterial that he conflated issues [IMHO] in discussing my case, and we can move on in agreement that the Republican platform's absolutist anti-abortion position, highly associated with the conservative movement and the Romney Ryan ticket, was extreme.

ACCEPTED: The Republican platform position on abortion was "extreme."

As to HG"s first paragraph in this section:
He has confused what is the most important in an election with the concept that people will vote on something according to their preference as a "litmus issue."

Simply put: the most important issue is rarely the only issue people consider in voting.

Following on this idea:

1. Though 64% considered economic issues the most important issue, since
this issue was very close, Mitt Romney often had a lead in people's estimation of his abilities on economics and;
2. played right, a campaign that was almost all, about the economy [cf Clinton 1992], should have gone to the moderately conservative, extremely successful businessman [prima facie];
3. mathematically, 50% of 64% [even assuming that the most important issue was the only issue], this only gives a little more than 32% to either candidate. We have to explain the other 18+ percent that Obama took from Romney.

The data in my [1] shows that as much as 9% of the vote likely was affected just by the abortion issue. I'll repeat: though it may have been the most important for only 1%, Gallup shows that over 15% will consistently say it is something that will qualify/disqualify a candidate.

"Obama would have won, anyway."

This may be valid as a point-in-time assessment (though I can think of few experienced people who I work with in politics--and also respect their ability--who would make such a claim for other than the very last days of a campaign.) However, my argument assumes, if not explicitly, then strongly implicitly and I now make it explicit, that the extremism occurred over enough time to be a factor in the race.

As someone who works in politics, and again looking at the race over time--one would realistically look back at least to the beginning of an election year. [I was trained to (almost) NEVER think of a campaign as lost until 8:00 PM Election Day.]

Nate Silver's 538 blog showed clearly that national polls alone do NOT predict outcome. What is important is how each candidate did in electoral votes in a state-by-state discussion.

The key question: how did RR vs. OB do on key issues in the key states and how much impact did those issues have on the election in that state?

"Many Americans See the Economy Improving"

I believe I have addressed this argument above.

To summarize:
1. While the economy was the most important issue is agreed;
2. The two candidates were extremely close on this issue, and had the Romney campaign been able to focus almost exclusively on this issue, he should have had a strong advantage, at least up until the economy started to improve, by which time he would have "inoculated" the campaign on this issue;
3. Other issues are important, as well [Gallup in my [1] from a prior round].

CONCLUSION:
"Radical" or statistically extreme positions had an effect on the race. It is only a matter of providing enough examples to show that the tiny vote differences in swing states would have been erased and/or reversed.

(I think abortion may have been enough, but will extrapolate.)
1Historygenius

Con

I thank my opponent for continuing the debate.

Regarding Abortion and ALL Issues Considered "Radical" in the Future

While the banning of abortions completely are considered radical in this debate, remember that I am arguing that they had no effect because the overwhelming majority of Americans were focused on much more important issues than abortion (since it seems to be the only issue we are discussing that is radical according to my opponent).

It also important to remember that while the GOP has given no exceptions to the abortion issue, Romney can be seen as more moderate on the issue of abortion, but leans pro-life. This is because of his political views in the past which have changed over time. Mitt Romney did not declare that he would make any quick and immediate legislation to ban abortions, which means that people probably did not think of abortions much in the race.

Important Issues

While my opponent has worked hard to claim that people do not completely look at the most major issue and look at other issues. Let's look at what are the most important other issues according to Gallup. Other important issues that scored high:

Dissatisfaction with the Government: 15%
Healthcare: 5%
Ethics: 3%
Immigration: 3%
Poverty: 2%

None of these issues can be considered radical and these are the five most important in other issues according to gallup. Obama can reach that other 18% with these issues, but remember that my opponent failed to mention that 49% of the people already consider themselves Democrats. So that 15% you are talking about that could disqualify a candidate based on abortion are probably all Democrats. All Democrats really needed was to get that extra 1.9%. Not that hard a task. Since abortion did not even get 1% of importance according to Gallup, we can only assume that is hat no effect it getting President Obama near that 1.9% and it is possible the people who cared about abortion already had made up their minds. [1,2]

Obama's Victory

Obama failed to counter that the RCP average has proved that President Obama was already a popular president. His favorability ratings were very similar to how many votes he got in the general election percentage wise. This is not a a national poll, this is an average of national polls combined and they proved to be very accurate. [3]

Why would a president most people like lose the election? Keep in mind that Obama never really attacked Romney strongly abortion. So the issue was again, practically irrelevant to the election.

Conclusion

I have proven that radical issues (i.e. abortion) had no effect in the presidential election because the country was almost entirely Democrat already, little people cared about abortion, and President Obama was a popular president. Mitt Romney's past gives him a much more moderate stance on abortion.

Sources

1. http://www.gallup.com...
2. http://www.gallup.com...
3. http://www.realclearpolitics.com...


Debate Round No. 4
proglib

Pro

Thank you HG for your new post.

As we are still arguing over whether an extreme position would have some effect on the election, I will not introduce evidence for the effect all the other “extreme” positions that conservatives hung on the RR ticket. If they all had “no effect,” then adding 5 or 10 (or infinity:) more extreme positions would also have no effect.

If we had agreed that a “down ticket” (to possibly misappropriate a term usually applied to candidates), issue would have some effect, then I would introduce at least the following statistically extreme (“radical”) positions, and provide evidence both that they are "radical" and how much effect they might have on the election:
      • gun control
      • taxes
      • immigration
      • the UN and possibly foreign policy in general

I could add the issues that HG mentioned as the next most important:

Dissatisfaction with the Government: 15%

Healthcare: 5%

Ethics: 3%

I would make a case that on a fairly large number of issues, the conservative movement was unnecessarily extreme in their messaging, and cumulatively cost the RR ticket the election. [Extremism on Dissatisfaction with the Government might be the exception that proves the rule, though.:)]

Several of HG’s points are interesting and I will address them in turn.

1. “...while the GOP has given no exceptions to the abortion issue, Romney can be seen as more moderate on the issue of abortion...”

Many would argue that Romney’s personal position became almost moot due to the extremism of: his running mate; the Republican Platform; several high profile TEA Party candidates who shot themselves [and the party] in the foot on the issue. [Those of us who are relatively pro-choice know that a presidential candidate and his/her team have the ability to make a HUGE difference in the party platform. And we remember that extremist Supreme Court candidates can be appointed by relatively moderate presidents.]

Since my statistical evidence has not convinced my opponent (though I hope the DDO voters will be convinced), I will say anecdotally that I considered Supreme Court appointments enough to sway me away from Romney, even though he and Obama are not that different on the economy, IMHO.

2. “Important Issues"

Dissatisfaction with the Government: 15%

Healthcare: 5%

Ethics: 3%

Immigration: 3%

Poverty: 2%



HG states “None of these issues can be considered radical and these are the five most important in other issues according to gallup.”

The question is not whether an issue itself is radical of mainstream, but rather wether the person or party’s position on it is. On all these issues (with the possible exception of Ethics) the recent conservative movement has taken extreme positions.


3. "The 15% that would disqualify on abortion are Democrats”



This is a faulty assumption for which HG provides no evidence. The 15% number applies to the universe of people polled, not only to pro-choice or Democrats, etc. In fact, since 27% of Republicans are pro-choice [5.1], about 4% of Republicans, may have voted against Romney on the basis of his connection with the absolutist position.

I will not address in detail his argument about Obama’s Victory, as it rests on faulty reasoning concerning the president’s popularity, especially as it applies to the electoral college and winning swing states.

As my very esteemed opponent has not successfully countered my central argument that “extreme” positions had a statistically significant effect in losing swing state electoral votes for the Romney/Ryan ticket, I ask DDO voters to vote Pro.

[5.1] http://www.gallup.com...
1Historygenius

Con

Here comes the last round!

Other Issues

My opponent then gives a list of radical issues that might effect the election. These are gun control, taxes, immigration, the UN, and foreign policy. However, he has not provided proof that these issues would be considered extreme by people. In fact, none of Romney's stances on any of these issues are really radical. Romney wants to cut taxes, but that it not really radical. Neither is having less gun control or more prevention on illegal immigration. No one really considers foreign policy issues radical unless its something really crazy. Romney's policies are tuly not that out of the norm. I added the next most important issues according to Gallup. These are surely not radical issues.

I have provided proof these issues are important. Romney's standings on these issues are not radical. Its not radical to be against a healthcare plan by President Obama and create a new one and declining ethics is not radical either.

Abortion

My opponent has argued that the reason Romney lost was because of Paul Ryan, the GOP platform, and several famous Tea partiers. However, he is completely wrong and has once again not provided evidence that is true. The party, the VP candidate, and allied organizations all support and follow the presidential candidate. The presidential candidate does not follow them. Its common sense. Everyone knows that Supreme Court candidates have to be screened before becoming justices, this safely prevents radicals these days from being elected. Also, remember that the Republicans may not win the majority in the Senate.

The Other Radical Issues

Remember, the conservatives follow Romney and the people listen to Romney and think about what he says. Romney is not a conservative candidate, just a moderate one. Elephant Watcher has proven that. So Romney is not radical and thus the people do not think he is radical. Had the candidate been more conservative we might have seen something else. Conservatives follow Romney, it is not the other way around. [1]

Also, keep in mind that in the 2010 midterms the people elected many conservatives to Congress so the people may not see the stances as radical.

That 15% that would disqualify Democrats are most likely liberal democrats, who else would disqualify it first? Even if it disqualifies a candidate, it may not be considered important. Remember less than 1% (in fact is less than 0.5%) believe that abortion is an important issue according to Gallup. As for the pro-choice Republicans, remember that other issues probably made them vote for Romney. I doubt many of them see abortion as an important issue.

Again, remember that 49% of Americans consider themselves Democrats and Obama won by 50.9%. All that 0.5% gives him is 49.5% for the election. Still not enough to get him to win. Remember, abortion has only been proven that it has the potential to be radical.

Obama's Victory

My opponent just basically ranted that popularity is faulty reasoning without giving proof or even debating it. Because of this he has dropped an argument I have made so I am victorious.

Regaring Swing States

My opponent has not made proof that the radical issues (aka Abortion) is important in the swing states. Because of this, we don't know if swing states care a lot about abortion.

Conclusion

I have proven that only a small amount care about the radical issues. There is only one radical issue that has been agreed in this debate: abortion. Only a small amount of people care about it and there is no proof that these people live in swing states to help Obama there. Even if Obama received all 0.5% of the people who see abortion as a major issue, he would still not win. The people looked at moderate Romney who was the candidate, the conservatives followed Romney. The conservatives had no effect because of this. President Obama was already a popular president which helped him win. Vote Con!

Sources

1. http://www.elephantwatcher.com...
Debate Round No. 5
34 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
I wonder if all the negroes with cellphones and welfare-funded 40's have been subsidized as much as ExxonMobile.

Personally, I doubt it.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
"the nut job wing of the conservative movement got too much press and confused the debate over the economy too much. IMHO"

rofl...:D
Posted by proglib 4 years ago
proglib
Thanks for the excellent comments, folks.

@Roy: while the 47% dependents argument is plausible for part of the election result, I've yet to see any evidence indicating what actual factor government largesse played in the outcome. It is also dangerous for the GOP to equate dependency with the other demographic characteristics that clearly played a role: gender, ethnicity, income, urban vs. suburban. (And of course there is frankly and obviously at least a hint of sour grapes suggested.)

To be clear, although I did not want Romney to win (for various reasons only part of which are economic issues), however, I think this election could have turned out much differently if a George W. Bush 2000 or Reagan 1980 type campaign had been waged. The GOP base needed to be confident that they would make progress on the social issues, while moving them to the background until the day after the election.

Even on the economy, they could have had a more "normalized" (statistically) position, and done much better. I mentioned the debate could be called "Crying Wolf Round 2" because from calling Obama a pro-abortion Muslim socialist to saying that Obamacare was going to be the end of the world (the Mayan calendar is our next deadline on that:), the nut job wing of the conservative movement got too much press and confused the debate over the economy too much. IMHO
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
will PM further discussion.
Posted by 1Historygenius 4 years ago
1Historygenius
Yet he was unable to provide sufficient evidence who the qualifiers/disqualifiers were and if they had an impact in swing states.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
@ 1HG,

Yeah I saw the poll. But I agreed with PRO that:

" I'll repeat: though it may have been the most important for only 1%, Gallup shows that over 15% will consistently say it is something that will qualify/disqualify a candidate."

Just because they have other priorities doesn't necessarily mean that they won't disqualify someone over it. I don't prioritize having food and water in my vicinity over most other issues, but the moment someone cuts it off, you can be assured I will exact a huge price on anyone that would f*** with me like that.
Posted by 1Historygenius 4 years ago
1Historygenius
So first, we have the economic problems in that poll, considered the most important today. Then there is the non-economic issues, which are the other issues. Scroll down and you will find abortion. It has less than 1% of people finding it the most important oither issue.
Posted by emj32 4 years ago
emj32
@Roy I expected to hear more than typical Fox News propoganda from someone as smart as you.. Obama won because he appealed to everyone not rich and white. Obama won because Romney was way to extreme on social issues. Also, i'm not sure what election you followed, but Romney is one of the most out of touch politicians i've ever seen. I remember somebody at one of his rallies asked him how to start up a business, and Romney said "borrow money from your parents". Sorry Romney, not everybody has multi-millionaire parents like you. Also. the states that voted for Romney were the least educated and payed the least amount in income taxes. Once again, Obama won because he was running against a racist millionaire who used offshore tax havens, insulted half of America, showed no respect to woman or minorities, and had an incredibly weak platform.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
Now that the sourcing issue has been resolved (thanks to both PRO and CON), this debate becomes meaningful and interesting. I rescind my prior opinion on it.

1) PRO's use of the Gallup poll was significant and relevant to the discussion. CON's use unfortunately was not directly pertinent to election results, and therefore I found CON's usage to be irrelevant to the debate.
2) All of my prior comments regarding election day polling and etc still stand.
3) Although I am not fully convinced by PRO's argument, CON's counters were largely irrelevant to the debate.
4) Romney's position - CON argued for this...PRO argued that it was overshadowed by Romney's party. I've read election analysis that essentially stated that a strategic move by OB/Dems to aggressively attack Romney after the Republican primary when he was defenseless helped to mold public opinion of Romney negatively, thereby lessening his direct impact on the election, especially on matters outside of the economy. I will side with PRO on this one.

5) Therefore, with the key point cleared up, I believe PRO won decisively. Sources to PRO as well.

Final word - I thought Romney was the PERFECT CHOICE for the 2008 VP position, and I would have voted for a McCain/Romney ticket. That the Republican party sandbagged him for being Mormon is almost exactly what PRO is asserting regarding the Republican party. [conspiracy theory] That McCain chose Palin over Romney also points to something totally irrelevant to judgment/misjudgment but rather a possibility that some "greater power" saw the need for a woman or an African American to become President, and the Republican party rolled over and acceded to this "greater power". [end of conspiracy theory] I simply cannot explain 2008 in any other way. McCain in 2008 spent a good deal of time actually defending Obama from his own party's extremist positions against Obama (black, Muslim, etc).
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
proglib1HistorygeniusTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pros points relied mainly on social issues - a point unimportant in the voters mind. The points where he said it would hurt the republicans failed to be convincing. As the voters cared little about that issue (con said 1%) it would not affect swing states and probably only affect the true blue/red states. Con wins arguments.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
proglib1HistorygeniusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: see comments - thanks for clearing up the sources.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
proglib1HistorygeniusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had the burden of proof. His main argument was that abortion was the determining issue. Pro needed to show that the people who thought abortion was the determining issue would not have voted as they did, but he didn't have evidence for that. People insisting on pro-choice would have voted for Obama anyway, and those insisting on pro-life would have voted Romney anyway. Con's 1% number was convincing. I think it's true that nutcase abortion statements cost two Republican Senate seats, but there's insufficient evidence that carried to the Presidential race.
Vote Placed by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
proglib1HistorygeniusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Interesting debate. I felt pro had a lot better arguments, and he supported them with good sources. I felt pro did not uphold the bop to the proper standard, however for a new debater, did pretty decent in his case, and actually convinced me to give him the arguments point.
Vote Placed by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
proglib1HistorygeniusTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The premise that Pro sought to defend was, by my understanding: P1) The GOP includes many voters with views that are ?extreme? or that fall outside the norm P2) These views were defended by the GOP candidate, causing a degradation in his favorability among moderates P3/C) This degradation was sufficient to lose the election for that party I further reduce this argument to: ?the GOP lost the election because their proposals were less popular than the Democratic arguments.? This premise has been defeated in the past, notably by arguing that other factors played a more significant role than popularity. However, in this debate, Pro avoided this challenge by arguing that extremism (unpopular proposals) were only one of several potential sufficient conditions for the loss. (?on enough hot button issues the GOP took an extreme ...") I will elaborate further in the comments section.
Vote Placed by iamnotwhoiam 4 years ago
iamnotwhoiam
proglib1HistorygeniusTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's contention that only 1% cared about abortion as a major issue is contradicted by the sources. Pro spotted this. Pro's point that Democrats had high support anyway was not rebutted. Neither debater established their case conclusively. Although not explicitly stated, Pro should have the BOP to prove a positive case, so I'm going to give this to Con by a hair, with conduct to Pro because Con claimed something contradicted by his sources. It may have been oversight, but maybe he'll be more careful next time.