Published November 10, 2011
I am from the great State of Ohio.
Our state is a bellwether for the 2012 elections and Tuesday's election is a sample of what is to come.
Governor Kasich and the legislature wanted to limit the right of unions to bargain. They thought that people would support
them because such a move would cut down on pay and benefits for teachers, firefighters and police officers and save the
Kasich's plan would save money in the short run, but the Ohio I come from is made up of people who work. It is not Wall Street or Washington where the markets and politics rule.
Ohio folks are mostly regular people with regular jobs. -- Everyone knows a teacher or fireman or police officer.We all know how hard they work and many people in Ohio grew up with someone in their family belonging to a union.
Voters in Ohio rejected ballot measure Issue #2 which was a flat rejection of the State Senate's bill #5 which limited collective bargaining. Only 39% of the electorate voted for it.
What that means in terms of politics is that dyed-in-the-wool Republicans in the state voted for Issue #2. Everyone else, including Ohio swing voters did not.
The Republican Party knows they lost on unions but they are taking solace in the results of the health care vote which was called Issue #3 on the ballot.
It was written such a way, that most people who care about individual rights would have rejected it.
Here is how most of Issue #3 appeared on the ballot:
"To Preserve The Freedom of Ohioans To Choose Their Health Care and Health Coverage
1. In Ohio, no law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly any person or employer or heath care provider to participate in a health care system.
2. In Ohio, no law or rule shall prohibit the purchase or sale of health care of health insurance 3. In Ohio, no rule or rule shall impose a penalty or fine for the sale or purchase of health care or health insurance."
For a state that takes rights such as collective bargaining seriously it is no wonder why the vote went (as of today's count) 66% in favor of Issue #3.
But the Ohio Republican Party shouldn't be crowing quite yet.
Most of the Ohio citizens were not aware of the fact that choice exists in the Obama health care plan and that everyone gets a shot at being able to purchase health care. This is the way it was when then-Governor Romeny designed the Massachusetts plan, the same one that the Obama law is modeled after. As of today, President Obama is up slightly in the most recent Ohio presidential poll.
Bottom line: Republicans should beware. As Ohio goes, so goes the nation.
Ellen Ratner is a Fox News contributor and Washington bureau chief for Talk Radio News Service.