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Second Poll Shows Anti-Union SB 5 Going Down in Ohio

First Read, one of the DC establishment media bellweathers, pronounces that the most meaningful election of 2011 will be the fight over SB 5 in Ohio:

The best — and most meaningful — statewide race of 2011 wasn’t in West Virginia (where Democrats narrowly won the gubernatorial contest). Or in Louisiana (where Gov. Bobby Jindal cruised to re-election). And it won’t be in Kentucky (where Democrats are poised for a blowout gubernatorial win). Or in Mississippi (where Republicans are expected to hold the governor’s mansion). Rather, the 2011 race with the biggest political implications is taking place here in the Buckeye State, where voters two weeks from today will decide the fate of Gov. John Kasich’s (R) law curbing collective-bargaining rights for public-sector workers. It will test, once again, organized labor’s strength in the Midwest (after its mixed results in Wisconsin). It will gauge Kasich’s popularity (or unpopularity). It will serve as a trial run of sorts for next year’s presidential contest in this traditional battleground state. And it’s the same fight we’ve seen across the country — about how governments balance their budgets and about the role of the government worker.

I think they’re saying that mainly because Chuck Todd is moderating an Issue 2 debate tonight. But let’s hold them to this pronouncement, which I happen to think is correct. Because when No on Issue 2 wipes the floor with John Kasich and the anti-union forces who have been dumping lots of money into Ohio, the establishment should get the message that taking rights away from workers is bad politics, in addition to being bad policy.

Ohio voters support 57 – 32 percent the repeal of SB 5, the centerpiece of Gov. John Kasich’s legislative program, as the margin against the governor’s measure has almost doubled in the last month, from 51 – 38 percent for repeal September 27, a 13-point margin, to a 25-point margin in today’s Quinnipiac University poll.

Gov. Kasich’s standing is in the same negative neighborhood as SB 5, with Ohio voters disapproving of his job performance 52 – 36 percent, down from 49 – 40 percent disapproval in September’s survey by the independent Quinnipiac University.

This is the second straight poll to show SB 5 going down in flames, with PPP providing the first last week. I don’t see any way to make up a 20- to 25-point deficit in two weeks, especially since the trajectory has been going away from the pro-SB 5 folks, who had been making up ground through the summer. That has ended as the ads have gone up on the air and public attention has focused on the issue. Maybe Kasich can ask labor for one last bargaining session!

So when First Read and other outlets like it go relatively silent when No on Issue 2 wins and the anti-union law is soundly rejected in Ohio, just file away this item calling it the most meaningful statewide race of the year.

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David Dayen

David Dayen

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