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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Battle of Ohio: Facing Referendum, Republicans Now Want to Compromise

With the Battle of Wisconsin reaching a temporary lull after the recent recall elections, attention is shifting to another midwestern state, where opponents of recently enacted union-bashing legislation have far exceeded the threshold of petitions needed to get a referendum repealing the measure on a November ballot.
With polls consistently showing Ohio voters favoring the repeal initiative (by 50-39 in a new PPP poll, and by larger margins in earlier polls), Gov. John Kasich and Republican legislative leaders are suddenly asking for meetings to seek a compromise on Senate Bill 5, which was enacted in March on a party-line vote.
Kasich hurried to sign the bill soon after it passed in order to force opponents to seek a referendum this year rather than in the higher-turnout 2012 presidential cycle.
But now Republicans are seeking to head off the referendum, or (since SB 5 opponents have made it clear that total repeal of the bill is a precondition to talks about how it might be replaced with compromise legislation) more likely, trying to strengthen their hand in the referendum fight by appearing reasonable. It’s a little late for that.
So the referendum fight is fully on, and as November approaches, you can expect the kind of national labor/progressive coalition that mobilized for the Wisconsin recalls to focus on Ohio.

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