Ohio Issue 2: Another Romney Flip-Flop?

OK. I’ve already voted NO on Ohio Issue 2. As I opined a week or so ago, on this issue I’ll stand with the teachers, cops and firefighters against the politicians who view this as a way to advance their own political interests. But I’ll bet there is one politician — Mitt Romney — who wishes he didn’t have to take a stand at all.

First he was for the measure that limits collective bargaining. Then he didn’t really have a position — leaving it up to the voters of Ohio. And now apparently he is back on board the Kasich bandwagon. Oh, boy. Just what conservatives want. Another wishy-washy moderate who spends all of his time straddling the center lane.

Here’s from the NYT, “Romney Appears to Waver on Anti-Union Rules“:

Mitt Romney’s critics are quick to accuse him of being a flip-flopper on important issues, part of an effort by Democrats and his Republican rivals to establish him as a politician without a core.

Mr. Romney gave them new ammunition on Wednesday by appearing to waffle on whether he supports tough anti-union legislation in Ohio that is up for a vote on a referendum in that state.

Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, had supported the union rules, imposed by the state’s Republican governor, John R. Kasich, several months ago. Then on Tuesday, in an appearance in the state, he suggested that he would remain neutral on the referendum. And on Wednesday he apologized for “confusion” and said he supported Mr. Kasich and the rules “110 percent.”

The result of the 24 hours of back and forth was a renewed push by Mr. Romney’s political opponents to highlight what they call his routine repositioning on the issues.

I understand why Romney wants and needs to establish some cred with conservatives, especially in key states like Ohio. It strikes me that right now many view him as John McCain without a war record.

So supporting Ohio Issue 2 might help Romney to get his conservative ticket punched. But it’s extremely divisive — and as of now, polls indicate that voters are going to repeal the law with a NO vote.

Here’s from Politico, “Ohio poll: Repeal anti-union law“:

An overwhelming majority of Ohio voters favor repealing a new anti-union law backed by Gov. John Kasich and opposition to the measure has increased sharply in the past month, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

The survey found 57 percent of voters said they support the repeal of what is know as “SB 5,” while 32 percent said they are against the bill’s repeal, amounting to a 25-point margin against the measure. In September, there was just a 13-point margin, with 51 percent saying they supported the repeal of SB 5 and 38 percent indicating they were against it.

And a key point:
The Quinnipiac poll found support for repealing SB 5 fell noticeably along party lines, with 59 percent of Republicans versus 77 percent of Democrats wanting the measure scrapped. Among independents, 56 percent said they back repeal.
If these numbers hold up, and independent voters do in fact turn out to repeal SB 5, that’s bad news for Romney as it tries to run his middle-of-the-road campaign in November 2012. He will need the independent voters to beat the Prez in Ohio — and conservatives will hold their collective noses and vote for him no matter what.
Better that he stands with the teachers, cops and firefighters now.

 

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