October 21st, 2008
09:00 AM ET
14 years ago

AFL-CIO kicks off largest Get Out The Vote effort ever

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/07/art.obama.il.gi.jpg caption="The AFL-CIO endorsed Obama's campaign in late June 2008."]

(CNN)—With less than two weeks to go before voters cast their ballots, the AFL-CIO launched a massive Get Out The Vote campaign Tuesday, targeting over 13 million union voters across the country in presidential, congressional and gubernatorial battleground states.

250,000 volunteers will disperse across the country in 20 presidential battleground states, including some “non-traditional’ key states like North Carolina and Indiana.

The efforts will also target 12 Senate races and 60 House races in an effort to secure a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate.

The group, which has been targeting union voters throughout the campaign season, says it also plans to increase the volume of phone calls and door to door knocking in the key states, with an emphasis on veterans, elderly voters and gun owners, who are typically harder to contact.

According to AFL-CIO Spokesman Steve Smith, in 2004 and 2006 the grassroots organization had about 200,000 volunteers working in only 13 states. Compared to the efforts in 2008, Smith says they are targeting “more states and more House and Senate races than ever.”

These final efforts wrap up a $250 million grassroots mobilization which began in late June after the organization threw its support behind Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

Filed under: AFL-CIO • Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (219 Responses)
  1. Bruce


    Yes it is your vote that is needed. Obama can't win without YOUR VOTE!

    October 21, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  2. Tim in NC

    And the shadiness continues!

    October 21, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  3. rm

    McCain and Palin are leaving these robo calls going out to homes where children are answering the phones and listening to the messages and the children are scared. What a sad, sad day when the republicans are willing to risk scaring little children to win an election. Bottom of the barrel campaigning.

    October 21, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  4. Mike the American

    Palin, the Alaskan Independence Barbie, calls Obama a 'socialist?'

    Palin's Alaskan 'Windfall Profits Tax' is not only a 're-distribution of wealth'
    (or 'spreading the wealth around' for all you Joe six-pack plumbers),
    it is textbook socialism. In fact, the Alaskan system of Government and
    it's financial sources (85% derived from Oil Companies) have more in
    common with the former USSR than the USA.

    October 21, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  5. freddie

    I am a voter in Akron, OH (Summit county). I voted yesterday evening after work on Tallmadge Ave. and it was a wonderful experience and I highly recommend it to everyone! The place is huge and the staff is very efficient and organized! They are open until 8:00 pm so everyone in Summit County, OH get out and vote early! You'll be glad you did!

    October 21, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  6. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    I'm a registered Independent, and I can tell you now that because of the negative, divisive ways of the republicans this year, I have voted straight democrat. I'm just as American as anyone else, and the insinuation from McCain/Palin is that anyone other than republican is anti-American. I resent that and they should immediately apologize to all of us Americans.

    October 21, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  7. scoot

    Cool we can get even more zVoter fraud. Yahoo lets go for it

    October 21, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  8. Andrew Ashburn

    Let us all just hope that all of this voting is not rigged. There is no way that George Bush won the last 2 elections. The people did not speak then. A Bad Man has destroyed our Country. Look around. This is his doing. I hope this election is truly fair for the voters.

    October 21, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  9. Cynthia; Bham

    Good, Senator Obama is going to need it. The GOP is like a bunch of rabid dogs at this point. They know that they are losing and will do anything to get back in the race. When it all boils down people will vote their wallets and pocketbooks and therefore we will have a President Obama.

    October 21, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  10. Kathy S. Cloughn

    This is key. If the younger voters and minorities do not show that will put a dent in the election of Obama. Young people and minorities: get out there and talk to your friends, drive people to the ppolls and we will have a better country for you in the future. Stay at home and we will have another 4 years of finfncial mismanagement and war!

    It is important. GOTV!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama/Biden 2008/2012

    October 21, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  11. John in Ohio

    CNN says that the "race is tightening" in their latest poll of polls.

    What they disregard is that, while undecideds may be breaking somewhat for McCain, Obama is, in that poll, at 51%. And he remains strong in the states he has to remain strong in. But CNN loves a horse race.

    October 21, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  12. JohnWinNC

    McCain's problem is that in spite of his efforts to paint Obama as a "not one of us," elitist, terrorist, socialist, "celebrity," most of us prefer Obama to the unscrupulous, divisive, manipulative, and two-faced McCain/Palin option. As long as McCain wants the key election issue to be "the lesser of two evils," then he will be running as the underdog.

    October 21, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  13. Jill American

    Lots of Independents in NJ. and lots of McCain signs too. But there are no Obama signs. Why? According to Obama's office they don't need to campaign here. If you ask for a sign they say no. Guess he thinks NJ is a closed deal.

    I guess it's OK for me to vote for Hillary.

    October 21, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  14. Gerald in Georgia

    We in Georgia wish you God's speed Senator Obama and we will keep your Grandmother in our prayers. Have a safe trip and stay strong. Take care of your Grandmother we will keep the voting drive going for you!!
    OBAMA / BIDEN 08

    October 21, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  15. ready for change

    VOTE OBAMA-BIDEN mccain & palin seem to be taking their anger out on the American people by misleading them and telling half truths, THEY KEEP AVOIDING THE ISSUES, we can't take four more years of mccain palin& bush ideas, VOTE OBAMA-BIDEN TRUE LEADERSHIP.

    October 21, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |

    I am STILL blown away that these two people are the best choice we can find out of everyone in this country...


    October 21, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  17. Naema

    I am so happy to see Obama and Clinton working together despite the fact that others are trying to divide our country. When I watch the Mcain-Pailin rallies and I listen to radio host like Rush Limbaugh I become terrified at the thought of them winning the White House.

    October 21, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  18. Bob Indianapolis IN

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, and he was shoveling dirt into the grave of the Republican Party.

    October 21, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  19. Amy

    Good for them. Everyone needs to vote and make their voice heard!

    October 21, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  20. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    It appears that Obama has been talking with Powell for much longer than we have been led to believe.
    OR, Obama really took in Powell's position of Shock and Awe when first delivered in Iraq.

    This mobilization of an army of focused people; this stewardness of money; this myopic attitude towards staying on message all bodes well for us should we have the end result of an Obama-Biden administration. Because what it says about Obama's organization is his team is very well organized and they march (with Biden's strange comment being reported yesterday notwithstanding) to one unified beat.

    If that stays the same in an Obama administration, we have great days to look forward to again under Democractic leadership.

    To Hillary supporters, I was disappointed with her tactics as the primaries got into late February and March on through to the end. But, she laid it out again yesterday in Florida that it took a Democractic president to clean up after a Bush and it'll take Barack Obama to clean up after this Bush.

    Stay focused, talk about the irrefutable points and most of all, VOTE!!!!

    October 21, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  21. Accountant Guy

    That is awesome. It is so important that everyone gets out and votes on Nov. 4 or vote early. Either way, make sure that you vote, this election is too important to our future!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 21, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  22. Jim from Middletown, CT

    Whatever it takes. Let's just please lose Bush, McNasty and Caribou Barbie.

    October 21, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  23. Lou from CT

    Get out the union vote for Obama/Biden 2008!

    October 21, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  24. Gtnaustin

    Go ALF-CIO!!!! It's time we took a solid stand for ourself and our members.

    October 21, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  25. Bridgette-PA



    October 21, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
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