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. TJ

    Caribou Barbie has a new nickname for Obama? That's laughable. The fact of the matter is, with the efforts to "get out the vote" (and Republican't efforts to supress the vote), Obama is poised to be the next president of this country. This will be a refreshing change from the past eight years of tyrannical stupidity. It seems this nation is now coming out of the dark, and I must say, it's about time.

    October 21, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  2. lyn

    Obama you are truly a man of honor and integrity. May God be with you on your trip and put his arms around your Grandma "Toot" so that she may see you become the next President of the United States and know the part she played. I ask all Obama supporters to go out there and VOTE early, GO VOTE EARLY and vote for Obama & Biden.

    October 21, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. Debby

    Yep and look where they got Kerry in 2004 back to the Senate.

    October 21, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. ron pinney

    Have been recruiting republicans to vote for obama. have 30 so far that have said yes. Many moderate republicans are mad as hell at their party for being so conservative.

    Have taken the election day off to work from opening to closing to get this job done.

    Wish I lived in Ames. That seat is winable with enought work.

    Thanks for all that you do for those of us that work for a living. Teachers work hard – don't need John McCain's negative ignorance.

    October 21, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  5. SHELLI13

    The Dems have carried out a campaign that is second to none. This has been the smartest, well thought out, well put together campaign in years even more than a century. Automation has truly been one of the riving forces of this campaign and I love it. We the people are pleased that this candidate is for America and the American people not for slander and hurtful speak. Senator Obama addresses the issues of the American people which is what we need.

    October 21, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. Georgia for Obama

    In my Georgia you should how black, white, hispanic, young and old are rallying behind Obama/Biden they are coming out in droves for early voting and everybody in Georgia think Obama/Biden and Martin are going to win Georgia......People are losen jobs in Georgia in big numbers people are fed up with the Republicans party

    October 21, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. thomas

    The world's in crisis and the best John the Maverick and Sarah the Pit Bull have to offer is silly little name games and shallow personal attacks on Obama. These are very immature tactics for candidates running to be leaders of the free world

    October 21, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. Lee

    I'm a former member of the AFL-CIO Union because thet cost me my job, cuased my employer to close because of a bone headed strike.

    Joe the Plumber got it right. BO's plans suck.

    October 21, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. Larry

    Don't you SEE something WRONG here ??We're in the worst financial trouble since the Great Depression,Obama and the unions are wanting to create good paying jobs by increasing the taxes on the companies,so they won't have the money to make payroll ,and their prices will go up making them less competitive in the market place,so sales will be down.

    This is NOT change for the better,this will CHANGE just for change .

    October 21, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. Phil Newton from Murphy, Oregon

    Unions support the working families candidate: Barack Obama.

    October 21, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. Global J

    Turn the map blues, folks! The world will sigh in relief if you do come Nov. 4th.

    October 21, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  12. Christiane

    People go and vote for CHANGE

    October 21, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |

    9/11; WAR IN IRAQ,AFGHANISTAN;pursuit of OSAMA BIN LADEN; ENRON SCANDAL;OIL SCANDALS;CREDIT CRUNCH;;OIL PRICES; LEHMAN BROS....etc..ALL UNDER THE WATCH OF THE GOP including MCAIN AND PALIN....the list is endless yet surely,surely there are people out there in CRITICALLY THINKING AMERICA who still believe in the REPUBLICANS.....Surely, everyone must REFLECT . So then another 4 years of the GOP simply because YOU hate BARACK who by the way is WHITE and BLACK and is a GOOD CHRISTIAN.

    SHAME on those who are BLATANTLY or SUB-CONCIOUSLY RACIST(the new phenomenon i've discovered).So up to now no-one believes WAR IN IRAQ=CREDIT CRUNCH? Its money being spent in Iraq-not tree leaves. Remember some Iraqis are also employed and paid in US$. Are there any returns to AMERICA?No! Instead contracts are given to CHINA.Then of course you believe MCAIN can change things after 28 years. Iraq has a budget surplus and America has a deficit. So then YOU voted BUSH against Mcain 2000. Bush turned out worse, so now you think Mcain will be better after all?
    The CHOICE IS YOURS, YOU DECIDE!! IF YOU VOTE YOUR PARTY NO MATTER WHAT, You are brain-washed. BEST VOTERS ARE INDEPENDENTS because they think think think!!!!!

    October 21, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  14. Brenda

    Great news ... do not take Obama's lead for granted. Showing up at the POLLS to VOTE equals a victory!

    October 21, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Eric

    Are you seeing the blue wave? I have to admit, the idea of Bay Buchanan sinking in it makes my day. Did anyone see this woman made the case for more lies and hateful rethoric on King yesterday, saying it was the only strategy that had a chance of success. Let's see what the campaign will do.

    After the maverick strategy, which fell apart with the bridge to nowhere and her experience as a mayor who left a deficit, after the Ayers link that was not there, after the false scandal about Acorn, now we have another strategy from the McCain campaign. Paint Obama as a big spender. Face it folks, he wants a tax ratio that is going to help 95% of working Americans. Isn't it a scandal?

    And for those morons saying that it is welfare, remember this. This tax cut applies to hard working americans who, unfortunately, can not afford a decent living with a low salary. It does not apply to people who don't work. That's a big difference. So stop saying it is for couch potatoes, you just sound prejudiced and stupid when doing so.

    October 21, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  16. LF

    Hope Mr Obama a good trip to Hawaii to visit an ailing grandmother who is very dear to him and gave him a life in earlier days. Our wishes for the best for her in getting better.

    Any loved-one who is very ill can cause a great concern for relatives, so please remember him in your prayers, yes prayers, regardless of political affiliation.

    Another day or two later he'll be back on the campaiging trail, so express your freedom of speech then...Can you hold it back until he is on the trail again? Give the Man a Break for now!!

    October 21, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  17. Latina for Obama (nj)



    October 21, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  18. JC in SC

    Too many brain-challenged voters have jumped on Obama's bandwagon, without really knowing where the wagon is headed. I think its headed down a narrow, winding, mountainside road and the axle is about to break and the wagon is going to tumble down the moutainside. Scary stuff, guys and gals! I'm a Democrat voting for McCain. That's bad, but that's how ill-suited Obama is for the job. I DO NOT want to post a "Don't blame me, I voted for McCain" sticker on my car, but I fear that is what is in my future.

    October 21, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  19. KJ

    Go O! Obama/Biden 08!

    October 21, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  20. Shari, NY

    While the Obama camp is now focused on getting people out to vote, Palin has started her Halloween trickery a bit early. I would like an elaboration of news as regards protests at her rally in Colorado.

    October 21, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. LIZ


    October 21, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  22. J.C.

    The more voters anybody can get to the poll, the better it is for our democracy.

    We really should revamp our tax system as well.
    It's not working for either our voters or corporations.
    Patching up here and there with more bills is not working.
    We need a system wide repair job.
    I hope both candidates can provide proposals for it.
    Personally, I like a simplified tax system that tax the same rate for all beyond the state poverty level and then nationalize health care.
    Perhaps we can no longer afford choice for our health care.

    October 21, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  23. Maggie from Virginia

    God bless America!! We will not succumb to greed and division. We are sending a clear message this election. United we stand. Divided we fall.

    October 21, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  24. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    Thank you AFL-CIO. for your support of Senator Obama and Senator Joe Biden. WE THE PEOPLE SHALL PREVAIL this time, by giving the Republican party a resounding defeat to let them know we don't approve of the way they have mishandled OUR COUNTRY.


    October 21, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  25. Darrell

    Nice to hear about something positive for a change.If we had only the McCain campaign to go by we would be scared of everyone and everything.Why such a big deal made out of people making over $250,000 is a waste of time and energy.Most countries have a system where the mor you earn the higher your tax bracket.The Republican party has never been there for the average Joes and now since they have nothing but fear,lies, and Joe. It is a joke to think this campaign will do anything for the average person as they have only started to care when their campaign went down the toilet and McCain put Joe in the media spotlight.Too little and far too late to believe they care.Obama has been for the average since day one !

    October 21, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
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