Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ohio Independents favor keeping Senate Bill 5

Public Policy Polling (PPP) just released more results from their recent poll of Ohioans, and this time, they included questions about Senate Bill 5. What they found should make the unions a lot less confident about their current position.

So far, polling this year has shown voters heavily in favor of repealing the entire bill, even though they agreed with many of the bills components. I must admit, I was surprised by what PPP finds is the state of Issue 2 right now.
This fall, Ohio will have a referendum on whether to approve or reject Senate Bill 5, which was passed earlier this year and limits collective bargaining rights for public employees. If the election was today, would you vote to approve or reject Senate Bill 5?

Approve SB5..... 39%
Reject.......... 50%
Not sure........ 11%
The partisan breakdown is what you'd expect. Democrats oppose the law and Republicans approve of it.
Half of voters would vote to reject Senate Bill 5 today, while only 39% to support it. The main reason? While Republicans support SB5 2:1, Democrats oppose it more than 3:1, and they make up a 44% plurality of voters. Independents favor it 46-44, but they are only 22% of the electorate.
Wait...what?! The gap is only 11%, and independents have now swung in favor of keeping Senate Bill 5. By a small margin, yes, but that is movement in our direction. And notice how PPP poo-poos the independent vote and trumps up the supposed Democrat plurality of voters. PPP is a Democrat polling firm, remember, and it definitely shows in their comments.

Speaking of the electorate, remember what I said about this poll when reviewing their results on President Downgrade.
There are a couple of things laughable about this sampling. First, they give Democrats a huge 10-point advantage over Republicans. How wrong is that? Well, consider this: In 2008, when Obama was elected, it was certainly a Democrat wave election. The actual exit polling data for Ohio voters then was as follows:

2008 Ohio exit polling
Democrat...... 39%
Republican.... 31%
Independent... 30%

Even at the height of Obama-mania, with massive Democrat turnout, the Democrat advantage was 8%. So, PPP actually believes that the political climate is even more tilted towards them now, than in 2008? Really? Let's also keep in mind the results from last years elections. What did the party breakdown of people coming out to vote look like then?

2010 Ohio exit polling
Democrat...... 36%
Republican.... 36%
Independent... 28%

Clearly, giving Democrats a 10 point advantage in the sample is just plain wrong. Now, notice something else about this PPP sample?

They severely undersampled independents! Judging by 2008 and 2010, the Ohio electorate is about 29% independent.
So, lets split the difference between the 2008 and 2010 exit polls, and run them through Bytor's handy dandy PPP sampling correction spreadsheet. The results are as follows.

Average of 2008 and 2010 exit polls
Democrat...... 37.5%
Republican.... 33.5%
Independent... 29.0%

Approve SB5..... 41%
Reject.......... 48%
Not sure........ 11%

When you look at a realistic sample of the Ohio electorate, the gap closes to just 7%. Again, that is progress in our favor. Another thing to remember, is that while the unions have been kicking and screaming and dominating the news on this issue for months, the campaign to keep Senate Bill 5 hasn't begun to get our message out and educate voters yet.

Hang on folks. This isn't over yet.

Update: This tweet can't be encouraging to We Are Ohio, either. The gap is almost half what it was.


  1. 9 points in 86 days means if this trends continues by election day... SB 5 will still be repealed.

    And Independents rarely turn out in off year elections.

    Still keep milking one poll showing you down double digits with two and half months to go all you want.

  2. I think that if we do a good enough job of explaining what SB5 does and what it doesn't do, the gap will shrink dramatically!


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