Jason Mauk, spokesman for the pro-Issue 2 group Building a Better Ohio, questioned the results.
“Polling that asks voters the question they will see on the ballot shows a much-closer race,” he said. “We continue to make progress when the facts are compared side by side, but we’re also facing the most-deceptive and well-funded opponents of reform you’ll find anywhere in the country.”
If the polls showed a close race, this would be a fair point—neither of the recent public polls uses the ballot language, so some people who want to vote for repeal could conceivably become confused. We should expect a tighter final result than these polls suggest. For instance, Quinnipiac asked:
As you may know there is a proposed referendum to repeal this new law. Do you think this new law which limits collective bargaining for public employees should be kept or repealed?
The ballot (PDF) will say:
REFERENDUM ON NEW LAW RELATIVE TO GOVERNMENT UNION CONTRACTS AND OTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS AND POLICIES
A majority yes vote is necessary for Amended Substitute Senate Bill No. 5 to be
Amended Substitute Senate Bill No. 5 is a new law relative to government union
contracts and other government employment contracts and policies.
A “YES” vote means you approve the law.
A “NO” vote means you reject the law.
The Quinnipiac language was framed around collective bargaining, which people support strongly, not around "government union contracts and other government employment contracts and policies." As Karl Rove would tell you, that language is a good bit less popular. That's why it's so important to tell people to vote no on Issue 2 and to remind them that it's about firefighters and nurses being able to engage in collective bargaining—to reduce any possibility of confusion. But it's really unlikely that such confusion is going to erase the 20 or more point lead repeal currently holds in polls.
What's Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the chief backer of SB 5, doing to prepare for a loss (besides watching his allies pour millions of dollars into averting one)?
“Do I seem disheartened? I mean, I’m doing my job. You do your job and you put your best stuff forward and you live by the outcome,” he said. [...]
When asked if he has “a back-up plan,” Kasich replied: “I never think ahead.”
If this is his "best stuff," no wonder he doesn't like to think ahead.