The AFL-CIO and its community affiliate Working America are launching a massive, late stage get-out-the-vote effort to ensure that as many union voters as possible in 21 battleground states go to the polls come Nov. 4.
The union conglomerate will dispatch volunteers to nearly 4 million union households, in addition to making 5.5 million calls from now until Election Day.
Of equal interest, the AFL-CIO released internal polling findings on Wednesday morning that showed growing support for Barack Obama among union members since mid-August. As officials with the group note:
"In Ohio, Obama now has a 29-point advantage (61%-32%) over McCain among union members, an improvement of 16 points since August. In Pennsylvania, Obama's support has risen 22 points to a 63%-27% advantage. In Michigan, Obama now holds a commanding 68%-23% lead among union members, up 26 points. Union support is seen as crucial to Obama in the Rust Belt states as union voters are expected to comprise 25%-35% of the overall electorate in those states on November 4."
Should Obama keep this level of support among union voters, it could portend a healthy victory on election night. Coming out of the primaries -- indeed, up through a few weeks ago -- a chink in the Senator's armor seemed to be his support among working class voters, those from the Rust Belt in particular. The crisis in the housing and financial markets and other economic troubles have shifted the landscape as dramatically among this group as any other constituency.
"We're seeing a wave of support for Sen. Obama among union voters as they learn more about his positions on the issues they care about and contrast those positions to Sen. McCain's failed proposals," AFL-CIO Political Director Karen Ackerman said. "But this is no time to let up. We're going full throttle this weekend to ensure every union voter knows just how critical a vote on Election Day is to our country's future."