Three weeks ago, PPP showed Issue 3 passing at a whopping 31-point margin (55%-24%).  Now, Public Policy Polling shows Issue 3 is polling below 50% at a more competitive 49%-35% margin.  There has not been a single ad either pro or con on Issue 3.  The only way Issue 3 has gotten into the public consciousness is by Mitt Romney’s visit to Cincinnati wherein he refused to endorse both issues and all the roadside signs that link to the two issues together.

Is a fourteen-point gap able to close by tomorrow?  Actually, let’s take a closer look at those numbers:

  • 49% support
  • 35% oppose
  • 17% undecided

If the undecided largely split in favor of opposition, then Issue 3 can be defeated, and history suggests that undecided voters do, in fact, largely break in favor of the No vote, since it’s easier for people to put an amendment back on the ballot and educate people better on what it will do than it is to delete something from the State’s constitution.  PPP also shows that by party, Democrats only beat out Independents as the group with the largest segment of undecided votes, which is all the more reason to believe a large “No” break on Issue 3 is likely tomorrow.

Meanwhile, John Kasich’s disapproval rating is flirting with hitting the big 60 mark, with 57% disapproving and only 33% approving.  Thank goodness Kasich has been barnstorming the State campaigning so hard and publicly on both issues.  He may have single handedly given the No on Issue 3 a fighting chance tomorrow as his unpopularity among Independents is virtually the same as PPP’s overall numbers.

Strickland would crush Kasich in an 18-point rematch, with 21% of Republicans voting for Strickland over Kasich.  Last year, Kasich had an edge with independents, but that has ended with Strickland now enjoying a twelve-point advantage over this crucial swing voting bloc.

I know Joe has already written about PPP’s Issue 2 numbers, but PPP responded to one of the chief criticisms of its polling on the issue in its press release.

One other note on the Issue 2 polling- PPP was criticized both by supporters of Issue 2 and by opponents after its last poll for not using the exact language on the ballot. We felt giving a synopsis of what Issue 2 was about rather than using the exact language was appropriate because of the confusion over what exactly a yes vote and a no vote on the issue meant. For this final poll we used the exact ballot language, and then on a question later in the survey asked again using the language from our earlier polls, which was ‘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?’ Using that language we found 59% of voters for rejection, just like we found 59% for rejection using the exact ballot language.

In other words, thanks for playing, Building a Better Ohio campaign spokesman Jason Mauk, but we found using the ballot language got the same result. 

Tying Issues 2  & 3 together and then having Kasich as the public face of both campaigns may have been the dumbest thing in politics since Gary Hart posed on a boat named “Monkey Business” with Jessica Hahn Donna Rice.  Smart move, Kasich!  Please, keep campaigning.

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