With New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's recent decision to kill the ARC tunnel, the power of state leaders to make or break high speed rail projects is more evident than ever, writes Jaffe. He argues that DOT's recent announcement of $2.4 billion in new funding makes today's races even more critical.
Contests from Massachusetts to Texas are worth watching, though California has the most at stake, writes Jaffe:
"California just added more than $900 million to the billions it already received in federal high-speed rail funding. A spokesman for Republican candidate Meg Whitman recently told the New York Times that Whitman 'doesn't believe we can afford the costs associated with new high-speed rail at this time.' Democrat Jerry Brown's campaign website makes it clear that he supports rail 'as a clean, fast, accessible alternative' to air and highway travel-one that will create jobs to boot. Brown leads, 53-45."