The people-powered, labor-progressive movement that picked up two legislative seats in the Wisconsin recalls is on the verge of an even bigger victory tomorrow in Ohio. Issue 2, which activists got onto the ballot to provide a citizen veto of the anti-union law SB 5 passed by Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio legislature, is poised to go the way of labor in tomorrow’s election. Public Policy Polling finds No on Issue 2, which will invalidate the anti-union law, well out in front.
Labor is poised for a big victory in Ohio Tuesday. PPP’s final poll on Issue 2 finds 59% of voters plan to reject Senate Bill 5, with only 36% voting for approval.
What might be most remarkable about the 23 point margin in this poll is that it’s exactly identical to what we found the first time we polled on this issue all the way back in March. Voters were furious then and that anger has continued all the way to November.
Democrats are almost unanimous in their opposition to SB 5, supporting repeal by an 86-10 margin. Meanwhile there’s division in the Republican ranks- 30% are planning to vote down their Governor’s signature proposal while only 66% are supportive of it. Independents split against it by a 54/39 spread as well.
PPP used the exact ballot language in their poll, and then also did a poll with a synopsis of the referendum. The poll showed the same results – 59% favor No on Issue 2. Labor can stop being paranoid. They’re going to have a big victory tomorrow.
The anti-union corporate forces certainly didn’t concede this one. In the final weeks they poured money into Ohio, with TV advertising and mailers, to get people to support Issue 2. They plastered President Obama’s face on mailers and told voters a vote for Issue 2 was a vote against him. They used questionable statistics and outright lies in their advertising. It doesn’t look like any of this will matter. In fact, it appears they were just shoring up their own base, which is still splitting from them in large numbers on Issue 2.
It’s a stretch to call this part of the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon. But it springs from the same position of dissent against extreme tactics by corporate-backed politicians. In Wisconsin protesters camped out at the Capitol Building in Madison. In Ohio, thousands came to the Capitol in Columbus. And then, using the referendum process, they gathered ten times as many signatures as needed to get the citizen veto of SB 5 on the ballot, entirely through volunteer efforts. And now they’re going to defeat those same corporate forces at the ballot box and score a victory for worker’s rights, stopping the tide of anti-union actions. It’s a pretty big moment.