With many pundits predicting a comfortable win for unions, even pols like Mitt Romney seem to be edging away from the anti-labor side. But labor sources say predictions of victory in this fight — which has attracted intense national attention from both sides as a referendum on labor’s strength in the industrial heartland — are way premature.
An internal memo from a key labor-backed group in the state is flatly warning that the polls are “flawed” and that a big win for labor is not even “remotely possible.” It adds that the right’s messaging has “worked,” and that there’s good reason to suspect that a “massive amount of voter confusion remains,” suggesting the fight could still go either way.
“Those predicting a blowout for our side are basing their analysis on flawed public polling samples,” reads the memo, which was circulated to labor and political operatives involved in the fight by Brian Rothenberg, the executive director of Progress Ohio, which is partly bankrolled by labor. It was forwarded my way by a source.
“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.”
The memo argues that the wording in the polls fielded so far doesn't reflect the wording voters will see on the ballot, so the polls are not trustworthy.
Another reason not to be complacent is that Ohio Republicans included a measure on the ballot to reject the mandate provision of health care reform. While voters in general don't want to repeal health care reform, conservatives tend to be more worked up about it, and that ballot line will probably increase conservative turnout above what would be expected if SB5 and Issue 2 were the only things on the ballot.