iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Dan Bimrose

GET UPDATES FROM Dan Bimrose

Is John Kasich Hearing Whispers?

Posted: 08/23/11 06:40 PM ET

Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich enjoys a 36 percent approval rating. The only other governor with a lower approval rating is Republican Rick Scott of Florida.

Although I do not live in Ohio, I live close enough that my news is Ohio's news. I get to see a great deal, too much really, on John Kasich.

There is literally nothing about John Kasich that I find likeable. I would venture to say that I would be more likely to entertain Karl Rove than John Kasich. Rather quickly, Ohio voters came to that same conclusion.

The source of their ire largely has to do with a piece of legislation known as SB5. Senate Bill 5 essentially kills collective bargaining rights for members of public unions. Unlike Wisconsin Governor Scott Walkers bill, this bill includes police officers and firemen.

Ohio citizens were so unhappy with this bill that they started gathering signatures so that the people could vote on the bill themselves. 231,149 signatures were required. More than 1.3 million signatures were obtained.

Kasich is currently experiencing a Kumbaya moment. In exchange for Ohio citizens ending their efforts to repeal SB5, Kasich would be willing to compromise on the legislation. At Kasich's proposed meeting no union leaders showed up.

Recent polling suggests that the bill will be repealed by the people and they will do so decisively. There is not much incentive at this point to compromise.

The change of heart by Kasich is completely out of character for the Ohio Governor. It has left a number of arm chair quarterbacks perplexed and mystified by his motives.

Does he not want to lose face when the measure is defeated? Losing faith is not something anyone looks forward to.

It is rumored that many campaign donors have asked that their donations be returned. Perhaps he just wants to make sure his campaign coffers are kept full.

Everything at this point is at the least guesswork and at the most conjecture. Since both are free and available to me I will join the game.

The activist group We Are Ohio has been very busy and very effective. The anti-union measure has given reason for Ohio citizens to get off the couch and get involved. In anticipation of the 2012 election year, this is the last thing that Republican strategists would like to see.

While some Republicans consider this a throw away election, many if not most will fight to the bitter end. Despite my ideological bent I feel this is to their credit. I do believe that there is a definite path to victory for Republicans in their quest to obtain the White House in 2012. Victory for either party is far more easily obtainable if they win Ohio.

To win Ohio the Republicans need an apathetic or a complacent Democratic party. They do not have that right now. If SB5 stays on the ballot in November, Democrats statewide should receive a great boost in turnout from typical Democratic voters. Success in November would translate to an energized Democratic party which only needs to maintain that energy for one more year to influence who will occupy the White House in 2012.

We Are Ohio has already built up a huge organization. Hundreds of thousands of emails, addresses, and phone numbers fill their databases. Many more will be added as long as their end goal is repeal of SB5.

It would not surprise me if the powers that be in national Republican politics just may have sent a message to John Kasich. The message may have strongly suggested that unless he puts the SB5 situation to rest very soon then he should expect no national party support in his efforts to win reelection.

An extremely energized progressive base in Ohio means the battle to win the Buckeye state's electoral votes will be extremely difficult.

The only person that can fix the problem in Ohio is the person that caused the problem. Does he possess the ability to accomplish appeasement of progressives? Not by a long shot. Before this happens you will see Sarah Palin pay a visit to the Rachel Maddow Show just to chat about policy.

Stay strong Ohio. No negotiations until SB5 is repealed.

 
 
 

Follow Dan Bimrose on Twitter: www.twitter.com/danbimrose