2nc pc key
Yes vote switching—even due to unrelated legislation
Simes and Saunders 2010 – *publisher of the National Interest, **Executive Director of The Nixon Center and Associate Publisher of The National Interest, served in the State Department from 2003 to 2005 (12/23, Dimitri and Paul, National Interest, “START of a Pyrrhic Victory?”, http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/start-pyrrhic-victory-4626, WEA)
Had the lame-duck session not already been so contentious, this need not have been a particular problem. Several Senate Republicans indicated openness to supporting the treaty earlier in the session, including Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator John McCain. Senator Jon Kyl—seen by many as leading Republican opposition to the agreement—was actually quite careful to avoid saying that he opposed New START until almost immediately prior to the vote. Our own conversations with Republican Senate sources during the lame duck session suggested that several additional Republicans could have voted to ratify New START under other circumstances; Senator Lamar Alexander is quoted in the press as saying that Republican anger over unrelated legislation cost five to ten votes. By the time the Senate reached New START, earlier conduct by Senate Democrats and the White House had alienated many Republicans who could have voted for the treaty.
That the administration secured thirteen Republican votes (including some from retiring Senators) for the treaty now—and had many more potentially within its grasp—makes clear what many had believed all along: it would not have been so difficult for President Obama to win the fourteen Republican votes needed for ratification in the new Senate, if he had been prepared to wait and to work more cooperatively with Senate Republicans. Senator Kerry’s comment that “70 votes is yesterday’s 95” ignores the reality that he and the White House could have secured many more than 70 votes had they handled the process differently and attempts to shift the blame for the low vote count onto Republicans.
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