Two new polls show Idaho voters leaning against the state’s Students Come First education laws. The Idaho Statesman and the Vote No On Props 1, 2 and 3 campaign each hired large polling firms to measure opinions on the three ballot referenda. Both show more people planning to vote no than yes. Ken Burgess runs the Vote Yes campaign and wants voters to keep the laws. He says he’s not surprised by the results. Burgess credits a one million dollar gift from the National Education Association that has allowed Vote No to spend more on advertising.
“We have strategically had to hold off and kind of save our powder so to speak, just because we knew we were going to be so tremendously outspent," he says. "Today, October 15th marks the point at which we’re now plowing aggressively forward, and we’ll go very aggressively through November 6th.”
But Mike Lanza, who chairs the Vote No campaign, says advertising has not been the deciding factor in turning the polls in his favor.
“You’re only going to believe that if you think the ads would have affected the amount of public testimony before the legislature a year and a half ago, or that ads that ran this month affected our success a year and a half ago in getting all these petition signatures,” Lanza says.
The Students Come First Laws restrict collective bargaining, create a pay for performance system for teachers and increase spending on education technology. Voters will decide to keep or reject them on November 6.