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)


    October 21, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. Does Obama Palin Comparison?

    What a surprise!!! Big, corrupt labor unions favor Obama.

    October 21, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. ANGIE

    I wonder if these folks are ANTI-AMERICAN because they support Obama? Seems now days if you support Obama or the Democrats your UNAMERICAN NOT PATRIOTIC according to the GOP!, People it is time to vote all of the REPUBLICAN BUMS OUT! SENATORS, CONGRESSMEN, STATE REPRESENTIVES VOTE THE GOP OUT!!!!!!!

    October 21, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. tiff of Lithia Springs

    That's right obama supporters. You can't blame anyone but yourself if you don't go and vote.

    30 States or more have early voting available today.

    October 21, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  5. Dea Baldwin

    thank you AFL-CIO thank you Steve Smith glad to see intelligent organization and intelligent people coming together recognizing the only choice in this election!

    October 21, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |

    America wake up! By the time obama and the union bosses get finished with this country there won't be any jobs here.
    This country does not need to be choked to death by the unions again.

    The biggest mistake you will ever make in your life will be to vote for obama.

    October 21, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. Terry, Dallas Texas

    Oh come on. So it's okay for conservative and religious groups to rally the republican base but not for unions to do the same thing? Cry me a river right wing. Your days are numbered.

    October 21, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  8. Noah

    It amazes me that there are so many lemmings in the Unions of this country. Barack Obama is going to get rid of the "secret vote" Union members currently have. He is not siding with the "little people" that he pledges to represent he is siding with the Union thugs who want all of their workers to be of the same mindset and political persuasion. I thought the Dems were about diversity? I guess not in the case of diversity of opinion or politics. Hypocrites

    October 21, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  9. Matt

    I am a USW member and work for US Steel. I strongly believe that Obama is the worst thing for americans. If you rember back in 1982 the Lay-offs well his Energy speach lead me to believe he will cut American jobs and raise taxes.This is a prime example of when the union needs to stand apart of the dems party and put our jobs and America First. Energy Independence for Osama is to stop Drilling and production of oil and Gas field products. This guy has a hidden agenda and it is not in the best instrest for the Union Labor force.Vote how you want but you were warned. USW AFL-CIO Member

    October 21, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  10. former republican

    every union voter should vote obama because if mccain gets in there you might lose your job to china.

    October 21, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  11. Bic from CT

    Obama will do anything to get votes. If he has to do it by stealing them ofrfraud, it really does not matter to him as long as he wins. I do not and will not trust him.

    October 21, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  12. Virginia

    Every day these repubs sink a little lower. Palin infers that only the repubs are patriotic and the rest of us are not. Not only that, if we side with Obama, we are socialists or communists. How dare this vile woman say such things. I did all I could, I voted for Obama yesterday and wish I could go back and do it again on Nov. 4.

    October 21, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. Reginald

    This is a corruption of America campaign. Look behind the 'Change' sermon and you will see a deceptive, manipulating machine intent on power. Do not give our country to this group! McCain/Palin will fight for Americans as they already have!

    October 21, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. undecided voter

    I am hoping that intelligent Independents and Democrats start to wake up and smell the coffee during this crucial final days. Who is much better qualified to lead because of his experience? C'mon let's admit it, we all know is Sen John McCain. Especially during these times of crisis. Noone takes away from Obama as far as his intelligence and elocuency to speak, but at the end of the day we know he will be going in all different directions, God forbid he is as the crack head of Biden said "TESTED"

    God Bless America
    John McCain / Sarah Palin mine & my family's Leaders

    October 21, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. DENNIS

    The campaign will get nastier, as the days go by. We must all excercise our right to vote. There will be constant attacks on a decent man who is about to visit his dying grandmother, and will not even be around to defend himself. We are at a crossroads in America. Those that choose hate, suspecion, division and sepearation will stop at nothing to disparage us. Carefully notice the crowds Obama attracts and the ones that Palin/McCain attracts. It is obvious that people who want nothing to do with others that are not like them want McCain to win this election. Finally, the ugly face of racism has surfaced for us all to see. It is a good thing, because we can now look at ourselves and decide if we want to move into the future, or squander the oppurtunity to become greater than ever. At this point, the United States of America, is anything but that.

    October 21, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  16. Bruce

    Get out and VOTE NOW! If you don't vote for Obama you have voted FOR McCain and Palin and she is dangerour with her AIP connections and she is the biggest 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 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  17. bill canada

    Both parties raised total of $150 ,000 000 in the month of september . Things can't be too bad in America YET

    October 21, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. tiff of Lithia Springs

    We certainly do deserve Obama Jake. What we didn't deserve were 2 terms of Bush.

    For that smart aleck reply I think I will send Obama 25 no let make it 50 more dollars BUDDY!

    October 21, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. Sarah

    And we are in purely red state but still we will get the vote out
    Obama/ Biden 08
    Obama/ Hillary 12
    Hillary/ ??? 2016

    October 21, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. Karl

    I keep reading about how joe and Tito feel that the Obama tax plan will put them in ruin. I am Karl the Teacher and if I ever make more than 250,000 I will gladly pay more taxes. Please get out and vote!

    October 21, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. If you like the last 2 years.... vote Obama

    Crooks supporting a crook........

    October 21, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  22. HoldenLitgo

    American activism at its finest! The kind of stones this country was built on! I'm just sorry we had to suffer though another 4 years of the Bush Crime Family Follies to finally convince America how virulent the republican's disdain for governance has become.

    October 21, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  23. ber6964

    Desperation is using the JOE THE PLUMBER GUY'S words like he is some brain trust guy.. I can't believe that the McCain Camp is actually using this. Is this plumber guy a political genius/Harvard Educated Political Scientist?? I thought not!!

    October 21, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  24. Deb

    Let us hope this gets us the votes needed to win this election for the Obama/Biden ticket. We need him in the White House and we need for all of this negativity to go away.

    October 21, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  25. DAVE IN CA

    not to get off this subject but can someone from the democrats enlighten me on Joe Biden's golden goose he just laid for my choice John Mccain? i think Biden needs to explain if he has first hand knowledge of what could happen.... Pretty scary talk from someone with so much foreign policy experience... if Mccain is president i don't think anyone would test the U.S. but with OBama the muslim nations are ready to pounce to see who his allegiance is too

    October 21, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
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