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AFL-CIO and Workers’ Voice Battleground Polling and Get-Out-The-Vote Push

To:                  Interested Parties
From:             Michael Podhorzer, AFL-CIO Political Director
Re:                  AFL-CIO and Workers’ Voice Battleground Polling and Get-Out-The-Vote Push
Date:               Friday, October 19, 2012

Key Issues Drive Massive Final GOTV Push

The AFL-CIO is preparing to kick off the “final four” days get-out-the-vote effort for working family champions and around key issues driving the working class vote. Overwhelmingly, what we’re seeing is that core economic issues like protecting Medicare, ending tax cuts for the rich, creating good jobs and rejecting the failed economic policies of the past are driving working class voters to Barack Obama and away from Republican economics and wedge issues.

The massive mobilization underway now includes education on economic issues at worksites and in communities and an early vote program to ensure that every working person votes. More than four hundred thousand volunteers will be working to make the difference in the election.

And through the AFL-CIO, Workers’ Voice and Working America, the power of working people now stretches beyond the millions of union households to all working people, expanding the largest political mobilization operation in the country outside the political party committees. These efforts are diversifying and pushing the classic program of person-to-person contact in innovative and bold directions. 

Battleground State Polling Highlights Economy, Social Programs and Trust

According to an AFL-CIO internal poll conducted on Wednesday, October 17, working class voters in the battleground states of Ohio, Wisconsin and Nevada overwhelmingly trust President Barack Obama over Governor Mitt Romney and believe the President is better suited to handle the economy and protect programs such as Medicare and Social Security. The poll surveyed a random sample of 454 union members and  433 non-union members who have been contacted by the AFL-CIO or Workers’ Voice regarding the election. The survey also shows a distinct difference between general public voters and those who have been contacted by the AFL-CIO and Workers’ Voice.

The main takeaways are below.

1)      President Obama is connecting with voters while Governor Romney struggles.

  • People surveyed believe that President Obama has a better understanding of their everyday struggles than Mitt Romney by 54 percent to 16 percent among union members and 50 percent to 20 percent among non-union members;
  • Sixty-two percent to 14 percent of union members and 52 percent to 20 percent of non-union members believe President Obama cares more about the middle class than Wall Street;
  • Three-quarters of both union and non-union voters knew about Mitt Romney’s 47 percent comments and two-thirds think they reflect his true views.

2)      President Obama is far more trusted than Mitt Romney to handle both economic and social issues.

  • When asked who you trust to do a better job handling the economy, 62 percent to 27 percent of union members and 48 percent to 39 percent of non-union members say President Obama;
  • On Medicaid: 63 percent to 22 percent of union members and 53 percent to 31percent of non-union members say President Obama;
  • On Medicare: 65 percent to 24 percent of union members and 55 percent to 32 percent of non-union members say President Obama.

3)      Big margins on taxes, economic and social programs create opportunities for President Obama and dangers for Mitt Romney.

  • When asked if they support raising taxes on those earning $250k:72 percent to 24 percent of union members and 66 percent to 26 percent of non-union members say yes;
  • When asked if they support cutting Social Security: only 8 percent to 86 percent of union members, and 10 percent to 85 percent non-union members say yes;
  • Majorities believe Medicare should stay as it is and not change to a public/private hybrid system: 68 percent to 21 percent of union members and 64 percent to 24 percent of non-union members;
  • Vast majorities said the government should focus on job creation over reducing the federal debt: 68 percent to 14 percent of union members and 66 percent to 18 percent of non-union members;
  • Sixty-nine percent to 22 percent of union members and 63 percent to 26 percent of non-union members think the bailout of Chrysler and GM was a good thing.

“Final Four” GOTV Push

As we head into the final weeks of the 2012 campaign, the AFL-CIO, Workers’ Voice and Working America’s grassroots political campaigns are focused almost exclusively on efforts to get out the vote. And we’re preparing for our signature “Final Four” campaign to spend the last four days of the election ensuring every person can and does vote. As the polling shows, our direct voter contact is cutting through the clutter of the unprecedented and secret cash from Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers. Our GOTV push will get people to the polls on Election Day and protect their right to vote.

Final Four GOTV Plan

  • The Final Four GOTV plan will be focused on turning people out to vote in key communities across the country. Over 128,000 volunteers will participate in the final four days to get out the vote;
  • We will knock on 5.5 million doors, make 5.2 million phone calls, and hand out 2 million leaflets at worksites.
  • Working class voters will receive 12 million pieces of mail.

Key Numbers

  • 25 battleground states
  • 20 million voters: 16.4 million union voters, 2.8 million Working America members and 1 million Workers’ Voice members
  • 450,000 new voter registrations
  • More than 400,000 volunteers this cycle
  • Nearly 2,000 poll monitors

In addition, Working America will:

  • Knock on 1 million doors
  • Mobilize 100,000 supporters
  • Engage 325,000 GOTV and persuasion conversations

Contact: Josh Goldstein or Eddie Vale (202) 637-5018

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