Two recent opinion polls suggest that Ohio voters are poised to reject , Gov. John Kasich's plan to reduce the collective bargaining power of the state's public sector unions.
The majority of voters polled earlier this month by Public Policy Polling and Quinnipiac University say they want to repeal Senate Bill 5. Public Policy Polling found that 56 percent of voters surveyed want to reject it while 36 percent support Issue 2.
Quinnipiac's poll results were even better for Issue 2 opponents, with 57 percent against the measure and 32 percent for it.
In both polls, more Repubicans said they support Issue 2 than any other groups. But that support is lukewarm compared to the opposition of Democrats, who are staunch against it.
More than three-quarters -- 77 percent -- of Democrats polled by Quinnipiac said they were against Issue 2 while only 13 percent supported. The Public Policy Poll says 80 percent of Democrats polled oppose the issue while 13 percent support it.
In both polls, opposition has grown since polls were . While support for Issue 2 had lagged behind the opposition, the lead was not so large as it is now, the polling groups found.
"With two weeks until Election Day, the opponents of SB 5 have strong reason to be optimistic," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The opponents had seen their 24-point margin in July close over the summer and early autumn. As we enter the home stretch, however, they have once again taken a commanding lead. Except for Republicans, just about every demographic group favors repealing the law."
The numbers also aren't good for Kasich himself. Public Policy Polling, an outfit based in North Carolina, said that the governor's approval rating is at 37 percent. His approval rating from Quinnipiac is 36 percent.
Public Policy says Ohio's governor "continues to be the most unpopular Governor PPP has polled on anywhere in the country in 2011."
The race is being closely watched by national politicos. Analysts for MSNBC say that the Issue 2 race is "the most meaningful contest" in 2011.
"It will gauge Kasich’s popularity (or unpopularity)," the analysts, including Chuck Todd, write. "It will serve as a trial run of sorts for next year’s presidential contest in this traditional battleground state. And it’s the same fight we’ve seen across the country -- about how governments balance their budgets and about the role of the government worker."
About the Quinnipiac Poll: From October 17 - 23, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,668 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia and the nation as a public service and for research.
About the Public Policy Polling Poll: PPP surveyed 581 Ohio voters from October 13th to 16th. The margin of error for the survey is +/-4.1%. This poll was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization. PPP surveys are conducted through automated telephone interviews.