Ohio Republicans want to pass a bill that would curb some collective bargaining rights for public employees quickly to prevent labor groups from having time to organize opposition, The Hill reported.
Labor groups are planning a repeal referendum against the bill and they have said they would rather vote on such a repeal in 2012 because more Democrats will be mobilized for the presidential election.
"It would make it a lot easier for us to win that referendum in 2012, there's no doubt, and Republicans know that," said one labor strategist in the state.
One potential beneficiary of a 2012 referendum is Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. He has regularly voiced support for state workers in recent weeks and he has been sending staffers to labor rallies in Ohio.
I've got to think it hurts them (Republicans) politically whether it's in 2011 or 2012," Sherrod said in the report.
Brookings Institution senior fellow Bill Galston has said Ohio is key to the president's reelection prospects in 2012. Obama narrowly defeated Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. in Ohio in 2008. Galston said Obama wouldn't be reelected if he loses Ohio in 2012.