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Snyder Losing Michigan, and Voters Want to Support Collective Bargaining

Add Rick Snyder to the list of Republican governors who over-read their mandate and now find themselves quickly unpopular. First it was Scott Walker in Wisconsin, then John Kasich in Ohio. Now Snyder, whose budget includes large corporate tax cuts while increases in taxes for the working poor, and who pushed through a strengthened set of laws for emergency financial managers, who would be allowed to void union contracts and even fire elected officials, sees his ideas get the thumbs-down from his constituents.

Snyder actually now has the worst numbers of this new trio of GOP Governors, with only 33% of voters approving of him to 50% who disapprove. And despite his overwhelming victory last fall voters now say that if they could do it over they’d pick Virg Bernero over Snyder by a 47-45 margin. Snyder’s current status is definitely emblematic of the adage that the higher you climb the farther you fall.

Snyder has basically lost all his support among Democrats and independents.

But more important than the specific approval numbers on the Governor is how Michigan voters have reacted to the controversial policies that Snyder has pushed. On the emergency financial managers law, the public opposes it 32% to 50%, with independents opposed. Similarly, 59% of Michiganders support collective bargaining for public employees, with only 37% opposed. 49% of voters would support a state constitutional amendment to protect collective bargaining. Ian Milhiser notes that such a vote could be arranged:

As ThinkProgress previously explained, Michigan voters can amend the state constitution by petition and referendum. Just 10 percent of the electorate can place an amendment protecting collective bargaining on the ballot, and a simple majority of the electorate can turn it into law.

You would need about 300,000 signatures to pull this off. Who knows, we could see another state taking the fight over workers’ rights to the ballot box.

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David Dayen

David Dayen