Right to Work Only Popular as a Slogan

June 28 2007, 2:09 PM
I wrote yesterday about how "Right to Work" is a clever name for a measure that is designed to cripple labor unions. As it turns out, the "Right to Work" slogan may be effective, but the measure it promotes is not very popular with Colorado voters. According to a poll done by the Denver firm of RBI Strategies, the ballot language associated with the "Right to Work" measure does not do well among voters surveyed:
Without including the words "Right to Work" in the ballot title or language, there is little support among Colorado voters for this potential initiative. Predictably, the opposition to the initiative is strong among Democrats (65% are against). However, even a majority of unaffiliated voters oppose the measure. Conclusion While it is very early to be talking about a ballot initiative with likely voters, these results indicate that the language proponents use in describing the measure is popular, but voters show little support for the actual policy behind the language. That lack of support for the content of the initiative indicates that it faces an uphill battle. Most ballot proposals need a 55%-60% level of support in initial ballot language tests to be considered viable. Proponents of this initiative have a long way to go to convince Colorado voters to change the way labor unions and their members negotiate in this state.
According to the poll, only 36% of respondents supported a ballot measure about "Right to Work," while 56% opposed it. Those numbers are bad news for proponents of the measure, because any statewide ballot initiative that doesn't start out in the 50% range for support usually doesn't end up winning in the end. I must admit that I am a little surprised at these numbers; I would have guessed that Coloradans were more anti-union than the poll shows. My guess is that this polling data reflects a general indifference, particularly since Colorado is not a state with a strong labor union population. If most people aren't a part of a union and don't know anyone who is, then they probably don't feel threatened by unions.