Polls Show Tough Times Ahead for Democrats; A New Challenge to the Common Core
Two Quinnipiac polls out this week show some bad news for Ohio Democrats. The Quinnipiac poll in the governor’s race shows incumbent Republican John Kasich leading Democratic challenger Ed FitzGerald, but what could be a real problem for FitzGerald is that 65%, nearly 2/3, of registered voters responding in the poll said they didn’t know enough about him. The other Quinnipiac poll out this week shows only 36% of registered Ohio voters surveyed approve of the way President Obama is doing his job. But slightly more than half of those surveyed say they would support Democrat Hillary Clinton if she ran for president over the other possible Republican candidates….even over Gov. Kasich, who’s often mentioned as a possible presidential contender.
For the first time in 10 years, there are ads on TV in Ohio about same-sex marriage. The spot comes as a federal appeals court in Cincinnati prepares to hear on overturning Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage next week.
Eight months after a contentious hearing on a bill to repeal the Common Core State Standards Initiative in Ohio, another bill has been proposed to abandon the education standards put in place four years ago. Republican Rep. Andy Thompson of Marietta has brought forward another repeal attempt, with the help of House Speaker Pro Tem Matt Huffman of Lima. In a press conference at the Statehouse this week, Thompson and Huffman said the goal is to repeal the standards and offer a pathway forward that doesn't involve the federal government. But there are questions about the timing of this legislation, which comes just as school is about to start, and three months after the May primary and three months before the November election. And one big thing that’s different this time around – the bill won’t go through the House Education Committee. The chair of the House Education Committee, Rep. Gerald Stebelton of Lancaster, is supportive of the Common Core standards, and said that this repeal effort is a response to a very small minority of people who don’t know much about the standards at all.
While Common Core opponents say they’re ready for the hearings, its backers also plan to be there, and aren't waiting till then to show their support. The Common Core standards got the support of a broad coalition of school administrators, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Urban League, and educators, including the state’s teachers unions. Melissa Cropper is the president of the second largest one, the Ohio Federation of Teachers.