Monday, November 7, 2011

Buyer’s Remorse

Tomorrow’s election in Ohio could be an indicator of the backlash to come.

A new survey from Public Policy Polling (D) shows Ohio Democrats and public employee unions likely to win a big victory on Tuesday in the referendum on Republican Gov. John Kasich’s anti-public union bill, SB-5.

The poll shows only 36% of Ohioans will vote to support the law, while a decisive 59% oppose the bill and will vote to repeal it.

Kasich’s own approval mirrors those numbers, with only 33% approval and 57% disapproval. Kasich was elected in the 2010 Republican wave, defeating incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland by a 49%-47% margin. However, when asked if they could vote again, the respondents in this poll chose Strickland by a 55%-37% margin.

From the pollster’s analysis: “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.”

Ohio is the second state where the overreaching of the new governor has been put to the voters. Wisconsin already went through several recalls back in the summer, and while it didn’t switch the state back to the Democrats, there are several GOP state legislators who are out of work thanks to their votes to knock down public unions at the behest of Gov. Scott Walker (R), who now faces recall himself.

Here in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott (R) approval rating has “inched up” to 37% after he stepped on a couple of rakes with some of his more radical ideas, such as drug testing for welfare recipients. That new law has been blocked by a federal judge over a little technicality called the Fourth Amendment.

It’s typical for voters to feel buyer’s remorse after an election; the governing is never as much fun as the campaign, and especially when a party or a candidate gets the impression that just because they won the election, they can do whatever they want. All three governors — Kasich, Walker, and Scott — all seemed to think that their narrow wins entitled them to a huge mandate. What it actually did is provide them with enough juice in their resume to enjoy their forced retirement in two years. For Mr. Kasich, it’ll be back to his old job at Fox, and Rick Scott can go back to ripping off Medicare.