CHICAGO – Republican plans to curtail union rights are unpopular with Ohio voters who also disapprove of how the US state’s newly-elected governor is handling his job, a poll released Wednesday found.
Ohio is one of 37 states considering legislation to curtail union rights as Republicans use major gains from the November mid-term elections to undermine one of the biggest sources of financial and grassroots mobilization support of their Democratic rivals.
Wisconsin was the first state to pass sweeping legislation to strip public sector workers of collective bargaining rights. The move prompted weeks of mass protest and a judge has blocked the law’s enforcement until a court challenge can be heard.
Ohio’s senate passed similar legislation earlier this month and the bill is expected to pass the Republican-dominated state assembly and be signed by Governor John Kasich in the coming weeks.
The Quinnipiac University poll found that about half of Ohio voters oppose the bill.
But the question’s wording had an impact on the response.
Half of those surveyed were asked about a bill that limited “collective bargaining rights” and they opposed that measure 54 to 35 percent.
The other half were asked about a bill that limited “collective bargaining” and they opposed the measure 48 to 41 percent.
Voters oppose 58 to 35 percent banning public employees from striking, but they support 66 to 27 percent the part of Kasich’s budget that would require public employees to pay at least 15 percent of their health insurance premiums.
The poll also found that 46 percent of Ohio voters disapprove of Kasich’s job performance while he won the approval of only 30 percent.
The poll of 1,384 registered voters was conducted March 15 to 21 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percent.
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