The anti-union Republican initiatives in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee (there are probably more not as well covered in national media) seem bizarre and out of nowhere, precisely because they did come from nowhere. Media coverage on anti-collective bargaining in the run-up to the 2010 elections was small.
Only after Republicans came to office do you see the jump in news articles on the topic. This leads me to think that Republican politicians didn’t start pushing for collective bargaining restrictions until after the elections. Politicians seem to have a propensity in believing that all their personal beliefs become mandates when elected.
Also, in another much better, more informative graphic: