NOVEMBER 2012 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News
AFL-CIO registers more than 450,000 new voters for 2012
BY PAUL TUCKER
REGION, October 20th- The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington, DC, says it has registered more than 450,000 new voters from union households nationwide over the past 18 months.
The labor federation endorsed President Barack Obama for a second four-year term in the White House for the November 6th General Election.
The AFL-CIO stated the push to swell the ranks of Democratic-leaning voters is intended to help Mr. Obama win re-election.
According to the labor organization, the tally includes about 68,000 new voters in Ohio, a key battleground state, and thousands of other union friendly voters in swing states like Colorado and Nevada.
Mr. Obama defeated Republican Presidential nominee John McCain in 2008 by a little more than 200,000 votes in Ohio out of about 5 million votes cast in the state.
Voters from union households have traditionally favored Democratic candidates with that trend expected to continue this year despite of efforts by Republican leaders to weaken collective bargaining rights in Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana and other states.
Meanwhile, according to a poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal/ NBC, Mr. Obama has a larger margin of support among union households that he did in 2008. Also, Mr. Obama has a 71 percent to 22 percent lead over Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney among Latino voters.
“This is the first time we’ve made this big an effort to increase registration. We’re really proud that more union members are going to be engaged.
Whoever they vote for, the fact is we’re increasing civic participation,” stated AFL-CIO political director Mike Podhorzer.
Mr. Podhorzer said the plan began in March 2011 when the labor federation began matching lists of union households members with voter registration files in every state.