#GOTV: Unions Working Overtime To Get The Vote Out For Democrats

Richard Trumka fingerpointing 2
With the mid-term elections a week away, Democrats are relying on union bosses to get boots on the ground to minimize their expected losses and, perhaps, push a few high-profile Republicans–including six governors–out of office.


Although unions spend an estimated $500 million to $1 billion every election cycle and traditionally have thousands of union members working to turn out the vote for Democrats, more emphasis is often placed during presidential election years.

Not this time, however. In addition to huge financial commitments, during this mid-term election, unions are pouring a vast amount of resources into their GOTV operations.

As the Barack Obama <a href="noted, although he is not on the ballot this time, his policies are. And, it is his policies that are casting dark cloud on the Democratic party. This has union bosses fearful of a repeat of the 2010 mid-term elections when Democrats lost a significant number of House seats.

“Voter turnout is going to be the deciding factor,” AFL-CIO boss Ruchard Trumka told reporters earlier this month.

To that end, the AFL-CIO launched a page on its website to encourage members to vote. Nearly every other post on the union federation’s blog is blasting Republican candidates.

Meanwhile, individual unions are also devoting vast amounts of time and money in defeating Republicans.

The American Federation of Teachers, for example, is spending more than it ever has on any election–including presidential elections–all in an effort to oust six Republican governors union targeted earlier this year.


The AFT plans to spend more than $20 million to ouster Republican governors Rick Scott (Florida), Rick Snyder (Michigan), and Tom Corbett (Pennsylvania), and secure Democratic incumbents Dan Malloy (Connecticut) and Pat Quinn (Illinois).

The government union, AFSCME, has had its troops working to get the vote out for several weeks.

In Florida, where Governor Rick Scott is on the union’s target list, the union is using Trayvon Martin’s mother to urge women to vote and its phone banks have “made more than 100,000 calls to Floridians in recent weeks, encouraging them to vote on or before Nov. 4.”
Over the weekend, where government unions are trying to save unpopular Decmocrat governor Daniel Malloy, AFSCME boss Lee Saunders rallied to get out the vote for November 4th.

The most important thing that we can do is make that personal contact, knock on doors, talk to our friends, talk to our neighbors, talk at the work site about the importance of this election,” Saunders said at a get out the vote rally in Meriden where about 100 workers had come out on a Saturday morning. [Emphasis added.]

In Pennsylvania, where the SEIU is unsurprisingly backing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf against GOP incumbent Tom Corbett, the purple behemoth recently “put about 400 people on the streets [of Philadelphia] to identify voters who support Wolf and to encourage them to come out to the polls Nov. 4.”


With control of the Senate up for grabs and several high-profile governors up for re-election, many of the races are too close to call.

This means, in many races, it will come down to which side has the best get out the vote (GOTV) operation.

On the Left, Democrats and their union allies are on the ground in many of the key races.

So far, however, from a GOTV-operational standpoint, it remains to be seen whether or not Republlicans and their allies will be able to beat them.

If you want to make a difference in this election cycle, not only is it important to vote—it is equally important for you to help get the vote out.

“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)


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