The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Has Ohio’s Wave of Union Power Crested?


This morning, new numbers from Quinnipiac suggest that the political muscle of unions in Ohio may be less resilient than last fall’s referendum suggested:

Despite the overwhelming victory by organized labor and its allies in repealing SB 5 in this past election, by 54 – 40 percent Ohio voters favor the idea of passing a “right-to-work” law that would ban workers from being required to join a union as a condition of employment, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today…

Gov. John Kasich’s job approval numbers remain poor, although they are getting better, as 40 percent of registered voters approve of how he is doing his job compared to 46 percent who disapprove of how he is running the Buckeye State.  Those numbers are little changed from the negative 39 – 48 percent job approval rating in a January 19 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University, but are better than the negative 36 – 52 percent approval rating in an October 25, 2011, poll.

“Given the assumption that the SB 5 referendum was a demonstration of union strength in Ohio, the 54 – 40 percent support for making Ohio a ‘right-to-work’ state does make one take notice,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.  “In the SB 5 referendum independent voters, who are generally the key to Ohio elections, voted with the pro-union folks to repeal the law many viewed as an effort to handicap unions.  The data indicates that many of those same independents who stood up for unions this past November on SB 5 are standing up to unions by backing ‘right-to-work’ legislation.”

Support for “right-to-work” is 77 – 20 percent among Republicans and 55 – 39 percent among independent voters.  Democrats are opposed 61– 31 percent.

Tags: John Kasich , Ohio , Unions


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