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Ohio: Dems using minimum wage initiative to mobilize their voters

The Washington Post reports: On a recent Saturday afternoon, a team of canvassers armed with handheld digital devices spread out across the city. Their aim was to urge residents to support a ballot initiative requiring an increase in Ohio's minimum wage.

But one beneficiary could be someone hoping for a new job that pays a good bit better than minimum wage: Rep. Sherrod Brown (D), who is running to unseat Sen. Mike DeWine (R), the two-term incumbent, on Nov. 7. ...

n 2004, Republicans in Ohio and elsewhere tended to benefit from ballot initiatives. Measures to ban same-sex marriage, for example, passed easily. In the process, some election analysts said, the measures revved the conservative base to help Republican candidates from President Bush on down.

In 2006, Democrats are hoping to prove that ballot politics can work in the other direction. Measures to increase the minimum wage are before voters in six states. Four of those, Arizona, Ohio, Missouri and Montana, feature close Senate races with a GOP incumbent. In Missouri, moreover, a measure backing stem cell research is ahead in the polls -- which Democrats say could lift their candidate. -- This Time, Ballot Issues Could Rally Liberal Base - washingtonpost.com

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