June 24th, 2008
02:49 PM ET
6 years ago

Largest labor organization poised to endorse Obama

WASHINGTON (CNN)—The AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor organization, is poised to throw its support behind Sen. Barack Obama and launch a broad grassroots mobilization effort in support of the Democratic presidential nominee.

Obama’s name is the only one on the ballots which were faxed out Tuesday. The Illinois senator must receive two-thirds of the labor organizations total membership of 10.5 million union workers by the pre-set deadline, Thursday morning.

Sen. Hillary Clinton’s suspension of her presidential bid helped to essentially secure the endorsement for Obama.

According to spokesman Steve Smith, the labor organization stayed neutral during the primary season because a two-thirds majority would have been difficult to attain for any of the candidates given the fact that a number of the unions individually endorsed Obama, Clinton and John Edwards, with one supporting Sen. Chris Dodd.

“Once [Clinton] dropped out it was just a matter of process and getting the votes scheduled to decide on an endorsement,” Smith told CNN, adding that a “very positive” feeling came out of Obama’s meeting last week with all of the union presidents at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington.

“Everyone coming out of that meeting felt very confident and positive about the direction [the AFL-CIO was] headed…and about running a strong and unified labor program,” Smith said.

The group has been running a campaign against presumptive Republican nominee John McCain since early march, aimed at defining the Arizona senator’s stances on jobs, trade and health care among union members.

The endorsement could help Obama in the critical swing states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota where union voters make up between 25 and 35 percent of the total vote and particularly among working blue-collar voters which Obama has struggled to gain support from so far.

With an outreach of more than 13 million registered voters in 23 ‘top-tier’ states, the AFL-CIO is budgeted to spend $53.4 million via mailers, phone calls, door to door and work site visits and has not yet ruled out television advertisements. Collectively, the 56 unions expect to spend $200 million in the 2008 election between, Presidential, Senate and House races nationwide.


Filed under: AFL-CIO • Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. Rob indetroit

    AFL-CIO top that mccain. Go Obama 08.

    June 24, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. oil rules

    The labor organizations should be disbanded. Look at how their policies have helped lead to 4 major GM plant closures recently. Union help ya there, friend? Unions were obviously an important factor in fair labor practices at one time. Now the union bosses are just in for themselves, their power, and YOUR money. They registered as a 527 yet??

    June 24, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Justin from West Haven, CT

    Americans Fighting Lieberman- Cut it Out

    June 24, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    Lets All Take A Deep Breath And Say It Together. . . . President Obama . . . .doesnt That Feel Better!?

    June 24, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. Get Real

    Thats a no brainer

    Obama=Liberal
    Union=Laziness
    Liberal=Laziness
    Union =Obama

    Unions killed the automotive so its par for the course

    June 24, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Ian

    Very nice. Another 10.5 million votes McCain's gonna have to make up for somewhere.

    June 24, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Great I will get more spam from my union to vote for Obama, I love that the money I AM REQUIRED to give to my union is used to make ads for a person I DON'T want...

    UNIONS AND OBAMA SUCK!

    June 24, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Thomas

    "With an outreach of more than 13 million registered voters in 23 ‘top-tier’ states, the AFL-CIO is budgeted to spend $53.4 million via mailers, phone calls, door to door and work site visits and has not yet ruled out television advertisements. Collectively, the 56 unions expect to spend $200 million in the 2008 election between, Presidential, Senate and House races nationwide." – CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN?????

    June 24, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    In Your Face Mccain!

    June 24, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. EDW

    Does McCain have any unions backing him at all? I haven't heard anything...

    ***crickets****

    June 24, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    GO AFL-CIO!!!!

    THESE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT BUILT & MAINTAIN THIS NATION,

    AND GOT THE SHAFT, WITH THE REST OF US, FROM THE

    BUSH & MCBUSH ADMINISTRATION & BUSH SR.

    June 24, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. S. Boatman Warrensburg Mo.

    Hey Mccain . . . Is That The Swiftboat I See On The Horizon?

    June 24, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. Rob indetroit

    All of you idiots got the union to thank for what your parents ,and grand parents have if you supported the union's or vinvested in america instead of third world goods we'd be well off Obama in 08.

    June 24, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. John Q

    If Obama is against NAFTA then how in the right mind can unions support him.

    June 24, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. One Vote

    One nation under God.... Obama for President....

    Obama 08....

    June 24, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. Milly - Arizona

    Way to go. Bush-McCain always chokes on the word labour unions. They have no plan for us. Lets elect Obama and the Dems for a better day in the lives hof LABOUR!!!

    McSAME = BIG OIL + Wealthy Tax Cuts

    June 24, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. Rational thoughts

    A labor union supporting a democrat?????

    What a topsy-turvy world we live in

    June 24, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  18. axt113

    No what killed the American auto industry was they forgot that you don't just build cars you build a relationship, why do you think people buy toyotas and Hondas over and over, its because they know hey are getting a quality car each time, America taught the japanese how to build a reputation but then forgot those lessons for themselves, now the Japanese are drinking their milkshakes

    June 24, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. Danny, Democrat from AZ

    To Thomas: Don't like unions? Leave. No one is forcing you to stay with it, let alone contribute to it. If you are part of a union, you are part of what it stands for. And the AFL-CIO will stand behind Obama. Quit your whining.

    June 24, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. saga for Obama

    see i guess Obama does like the working man/woman...we like him. Elitist? go figure

    June 24, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. miyaki

    "Obama’s name is the only one on the ballots which were faxed out Tuesday"

    What kind of democracy is this? Saddam used to do the same thing, and we all said that was wrong.

    June 24, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. ANGIE

    your going down mccain and i cant wait you are not the president we need right now or ever you are a dangerous man both for us and our country and our world go obama your the one we need

    June 24, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  23. MLG

    Unions should not support either party it should be up to the employees on who they want there money to go. I wonder what there going to do once Obama starts taxing the corporation. More UNION jobs are leaving the USA. O Well.

    June 24, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Barry is using his platform of change to use poor union worker's money to push him into the biggest con-job of the century. It is shameful and disrespectful. I'm so glad to be from a red state.......

    June 24, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    NO UNIONS DIDN'T KILL THE AUTO INDUSTRY! THE AUTO INDUSTRY KILLED ITSELF BY NOT GIVEN US, QUALITY CARS; BY NOT HAVING A 'VISION' AND SEING THE COMING OIL SHORTAGE (WHICH IS ON ITS WAY!).

    In 1988, we decided to support the American auto industry and we bought a brand new Ford van and a brand new chevy Beretta! Within 5 years, the paint was peeling, the Ford had been in the shop several times..... after the warranty expired, of course! This taught us a lesson....... never again would we buy a domestic car! Add that to the miserably poor gas mileage and we had two lemons on our hands! We have bought foreign ever since. Our first Toyota, lasted 20 years before we TRADED it for a new one! Sorry the U.S. auto industry shot itself in the foot! We have to face REALITY, and LEARN for our mistakes! Something the American Auto Industry knows nothing about!

    A VOTE FOR MCCAIN IS A VOTE FOR MORE WAR, MORE FAILED POLICIES, MOUNTING NATIONAL DEBT..... ISN'T OVER $10 TRILLION WE OWE TO THE SAUDIS, DUBAI & CHINA ENOUGH???
    THANKS GEORGE W. BUSH! NO SIR, WONT BE FOOLED AGAIN!

    June 24, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.