In their decision this week to abandon their 2016 ballot measures designed to slash retirement security for teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public workers, former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio predicted that their chances would be better in 2018.

Their thinking? It’s an off-year election, more communities will be facing increases in their pension payments, and because of the pending Supreme Court case, unions won’t be able to compete with the out-of-state funding that Texas Enron billionaire John Arnold might put in their pockets for a pension measure.

They’re wrong.

For all these reasons, a 2018 ballot measure attacking pensions faces an uphill climb. The most likely scenario: pension changes will continue to be negotiated at the bargaining table – right where those discussions should occur – instead of on the ballot.