What we learned from Issue 2's failed campaign

Friday, 10 November 2017, 09:27:08 PM. The ballot initiative went down big, but there are lessons to be learned.
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Issue 2, the drug price ballot initiative, failed by a historic margin on Tuesday night. Voter support tends to break overwhelmingly one way or another on initiated statutes. The closest margin was an 11-point defeat the first time the initiated statute was attempted in 1913 for liquor prohibition. But Issue 2's was monumental. It is the worst loss ever for an initiated statute, with a 58.5-point defeat. After a divisive and expensive campaign, Issue 2 fails at the polls At face value, the initiative - which would have required the state to pay no more for pharmaceuticals than what the Department of Veterans Affairs pays - seemed like it should've at least been competitive. High drug prices are a frequent concern for the public, and saving taxpayer money is always popular. So what happened? Why did it lose by so much? The easy answer to why the initiative crashed and burned is that voters rejected the policy, but Kyle Kondik, a Cleveland-area native and political analyst at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, said it's not that simple. "The No side vastly outspent the Yes side and it was a ballot issue that I think fundamentally was hard to understand," Kondik said. "That's a bad combination for a statewide ballot issue." According to Kondik, as well as Baldwin Wallace University political science professor Tom Sutton, money and confusion were key to Issue 2's defeat. "The setup looked like this should have a decent chance," Sutton said. "But...Read more
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