With Election Day here, everyone will be poised to prophesy about 2012 based on today's results. I don't know about any of that, but to the extent that Ohio remains an important electoral state very much in play, here are two ballot initiatives worth watching.
First up is an initiative that would repeal SB 5, Gov. John Kasich's restriction of collective bargaining rights that was passed earlier by the Ohio legislature. The Buckeye State has something like an $8 billion shortfall over the next biennial budgeting period and the clampdown on collective bargaining was sold as a way of reducing the deficit; the bill also calls for public sector workers to pay more for their health care and retirement plans, an end to automatic step increases for many salaried public employees, an end to last-hired-first-fired practices, and other (generally) common-sense practices. Politifact Ohio says SB 5 will save Ohio taxpayers money, but it's not clear how much.
Currently, it looks like SB 5 will not just repealed, but repealed with extreme prejudice. A no vote is for repeal and Public Policy Polling says:
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.
The other interesting initiative on the Ohio ballot is Issue 3, The Health Care Freedom Amendment, which would ban mandatory enrollment in any state-wide health care system. It's currently ahead among Republicans, Indepedents, and Democrats, and looks ready to roll to victory. The intention of the initiative is to preclude a Massachusetts-style health care plan and the implementation of Obamacare over the next couple of years. Reason.tv talked with one of the backers of the initiative, Chris Littleton, who argues that the because Issue 3 is the result of a ballot initiative (rather than enactment) by a state legislature), its passage may provide extra grounds for constitutional challenges to Obamacare. Here's that interview: