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As reported earlier in the week, Mitt Romney flip-flopped on his support of Issue 2 on the Ohio ballot November 8, an attempt to repeal Gov. John Kasich's Senate Bill 5, which gutted collective bargaining rights for Ohio government workers. The flip-flop was highlighted by the Daily Show's Jon Stewart as part of a bigger pattern from Romney of changing his stance on issues based on how popular the issues are with Republican primary voters.
To recap, in June, Romney posted on Facebook:
My friends in Ohio are fighting to defend crucial reforms that the state has put in place to limit the power of union bosses and keep taxes low. I stand with John R. Kasich and Ohio's leaders as they take on this important fight to get control of government spending. Please visit www.BetterOhio.org for more information.
Then on Tuesday, it was reported that Romney said:
I’m not saying anything one way or the other about the two ballot issues.
After conservative backlash, he changed his position again:
"I fully support Gov. Kasich's [Issue 2] in Ohio," Romney said. "I’m sorry if I created any confusion in that regard. … What I was referring to was I know that there are other ballot questions there in Ohio and I wasn’t taking a position on those. One of them, for instance, relates to healthcare and mandates — I’ve said that should be up to individual states. I, of course, took my state in one direction. They might want to go in a different direction.”
Recent polls have suggested that SB5 will be repealed, but a memo from Progress Ohio made public this week suggests that the polls may be overly optimistic:
“Those predicting a blowout for our side are basing their analysis on flawed public polling samples." […]
“Modeling turnout for an off year ballot initiative is notoriously difficult,” the memo continues. “This is especially true in a state like Ohio where polling on ballot initiatives has been very unreliable.” […]
But the memo warns that the question wording in the two polls is so flawed as to be unreliable, because neither poll used the language voters will see on the Issue 2 ballot. “Keep in mind, neither of these polls tested the actual ballot language,” the memo says. “It’s a safe bet, if the actual ‘Issue 2’ language were polled that the margin would have been substantially narrower.” […]
“Bottom line: It’s nearly impossible to develop a reliable likely voter model for ballot initiatives,” the memo says, adding: “there are simply too many unknowns to believe these numbers are credible or even remotely possible.”
To learn more about the issue or to contribute to the efforts to repeal SB5, visit We Are Ohio.