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. Brandon Hillary Democrat for Mc Cain

    What accomplishments does Obama have on his resume that benefitted organized labor.
    Just Another Special Interest Group voting for a democrat with no accomplishments to back up the cheap talk and hype.

    June 24, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. BR

    Keep drinking the kool-aid lefties. Shocking. A labor union that pushes up wages and forces companies to ship jobs overseas. Great!!! Gotta love them.

    June 24, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. NickNas

    HEY It is a LUCKY thing that OBAMA PUT Hillary on the Ticket or he would have NEVER GOTTEN THIS.............................................OH WAIT!! Sorry I was seeing so much of that BS on the Net I was beginning to believe it.

    Obama is doing JUST fine. Women are NOT Stupid ( well most of them) and the rest of them can break out the Cash a pay Hillarys debt off.

    June 24, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. The Bush Twins : George and John

    And who is backing McCain ??. Anybody... anybody out there ??

    June 24, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. DMAC in ID

    I wish they would hold off till they see who the VP will be on the ticket.
    They don't have to pledge themselves right now.

    June 24, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. NickNas

    Thomas June 24th, 2008 3:37 pm ET

    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…

    WELL WELL THEN Quit your UNION protected JOB then Thomas. LEAVE your benefits, healthcare and retirement AND COME OUT HERE WHERE IT IS COLD OUTSIDE!!!

    Or Shut up and behave.

    June 24, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. Rave

    All the Hillary's sidekicks.. you have to just watch Obama win with a Landslide majority and weep.. This is in-evitable.
    Go get a life , your madam is $20 million in debt due to her ego and lying nature.
    All the McCain's sidekicks...by the general elections McCain is due to be admitted to some Phsyciatric care with his brainless skull bolted to a bed. So you too sit and weep or vote for Obama.
    No matter how much you want to stay corrupted, Obama will not let that happen.
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    June 24, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Noticing

    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…

    WELL WELL THEN Quit your UNION protected JOB then Thomas. LEAVE your benefits, healthcare and retirement AND COME OUT HERE WHERE IT IS COLD OUTSIDE!!!

    Or Shut up and behave.

    June 24, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. tigerakabj

    Thanks AFL-CIO. Obama worked with people on the south side of chicago in the shadows of steel mills, so he knows what's up. Kick that bumbling poster-boy for senility McSame to the curb and lets get this country back on track and moving forward. Obama 2008!

    June 24, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. Jamaal Kansas

    Mcbush is going to have a lot of trouble come November when Democrats get out to vote effort far out weighs the Republicans

    June 24, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Ilona Proud Canadian

    BOY, if this is true, it is absolutely AWESOME! 10.5MILLION MEMBERS, WOW.........

    BARACK SUPPORTERS , WE ARE ROOTING FOR YOU!

    June 24, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. Mary

    THANK YOU

    June 24, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. independent

    "a change is a comin' "

    June 24, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Generation X

    And on ......5....4....3.....2.....1 here comes the republican tools and the PUMA (Poor uneducated miserable adults) NUTS, Hilliary was cheated, Obama is an empty suit, all speeches, vote Hillary or McCain, DNC gave it to Obama......and so on and on...on...on......Guess what idiots, NOT THIS TIME!!!!

    June 24, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. USAF Staff Sergeant

    Well, I'm an Obama supporter.... and I say "so what?".

    Just because the group as a whole "endorsed" him, doesn't mean everyone will vote for him on election day.

    Those endorsements are a bit silly.

    June 24, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. ProundToBeRepublican

    I am very please to see people getting to know how great a leader Obama is, people with brain and who can see past his color see once in life time leader when they see obama. I can't wait to see Obama as our 44th president in 2009.

    June 24, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    United States of Obama!!!!!!!!!

    NO

    I almost hope Obama gets elected just so we can say, what happened to change

    June 24, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. JDC // Ohio

    So what? Labor unions are so unimportant these days!

    June 24, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. ny

    Obama is a lier. He is Dr. NO :)
    Can he, his family and his friends come out and admit they love America and Americans??

    June 24, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. Lynn

    If he is the only one on the ballot, it sounds like me its the DNC in action.

    June 24, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. JD

    Democrats are big on cheap, illegal immigrant labor, and that is great for Unions! Oh, wait, no it's not.... But NAFTA, which the Democrats created, was GREAT for Unions! Oh, wait, it really wasn't....never mind....

    June 24, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. Xavier, Saint Louis, MO

    Great! Welcome aboard a winning campaign!

    YES WE CAN!

    June 24, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. Raghu

    EVERYONEHAS TO VOTE`!`

    It is our only hope of beating McSame.

    June 24, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. Raghu

    EVERYONEHAS TO VOTE`!`

    It is our only hope of beating McSame!`

    June 24, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. Down with Obama

    Who cares, we still aren't going to vote for Obama!!!

    EMPTY SUIT OBAMA, if the UNIONS are that STUPID...toooooo bad for them!!

    June 24, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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