. . . there are 64,526 union voters in Kathy Dahlkemper's congressional district? Or a whopping 104,721 in Mark Critz's -- one of the biggest tallies in any swing district? The AFL-CIO would like you to know that, as well as this:
Since Labor Day, we have doubled the margin of support for our Senate candidates among union members.
For example, in Pennsylvania on Labor Day, Sestak had a slim 45% to 39% lead among union members. Since then, Sestak's lead has ballooned to 29 points (55% to 26%), a major reason Sestak trails Toomey by a single point in the most recent polls.
That's all from an AFL-CIO political memo called "State of the Field" that the group released to the media this morning. Read it in full if you like after the jump.
To: Political Directors
From: Karen Ackerman, AFL-CIO Political Director
Re: 'State of the Field' – Two Weeks Out
Date: Monday, October 18, 2010
He [John Boehner] thought there was no reason for organized labor.
As we head into the final two weeks of the 2010 campaign I want to take a moment to update you on the 'state of the field' of our united AFL-CIO political program. The AFL-CIO's grassroots political program has an incredible reach, with union families talking to 17 million of their co-workers; comprised of union members, their families, retirees and members of Working America.
Outside the political party committees themselves, we have the largest political mobilization operation in the country.
Union members view us, and rely on us, as a trusted source of information. Because of it, we cut through the clutter of the unprecedented amounts of unreported corporate cash being funneled through the Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove's right wing groups.
This direct one-on-one contact is going to make the difference in key races.
I'm not saying there won't be losses. There will be. The economic climate remains tough because we are still climbing out of the economic hole George Bush and big business dug. Meanwhile, the same corporations and right wing groups that created the economic crisis are spending record amounts of undisclosed money to lie to voters about which candidates will fight for the middle class.
Despite the challenges we face, we are turning working people's anger into action and fighting for economic patriots who will stand with working people.
Our grassroots program is going to make the difference, race by race,
to hold majorities that work for working families.
And here is why:
THE RACES WE FACE:
o 39 Net Seat Gain Needed by Republicans
o 75 Democratic Seats in Play
o 37 High Union Density Democratic Seats in Play
o Scenario I: No Republican Losses = GOP needs to win 52% of
o Scenario II: Democrats Pick up Four Seats = GOP needs to win 59%
Democratic Seats. ** NOTE ** The WA 08 race has recently become very competitive, opening up the distinct possibility of a 5th pickup
o 2006: Democrats win 56% of Republican Seats
o Holding 60% of union dense districts means republicans require
75% of the remaining seats for victory
Union Voters are the firewall for candidates that support working families
Our Members Are Where the Races Are
o HI-01 – 86,949 union voters
o IL-14 – 60,328 union voters
o NY-24 – 96,479
o NV-03 – 80,075 union voters
o OH-13 – 94,938
o PA-03 – 64,526 union voters
o PA-12 – 104,721
o PA-11 – 75,246 union voters
o Overall there are 37 House battleground districts with over
40,000 union voters
The Math – Our Grassroots Program is Moving the Numbers
o In July, when our grassroots program began, the generic
battleground congressional ballot among union members was D+8;
o By October 10, our grassroots program moved that number up
significantly, to D+25;
o Since these numbers are only as of October 10 we still have
nearly a full month of grassroots campaigning to continue to move the numbers.
o Since Labor Day, we have doubled the margin of support for our
Senate candidates among union members.
o For example, in Pennsylvania on Labor Day, Sestak had a slim 45%
to 39% lead among union members. Since then, Sestak's lead has ballooned to 29 points (55% to 26%), a major reason Sestak trails Toomey by a single point in the most recent polls.
o And Pennsylvania is not the exception. Over the last month we
have seen similar margins reached for Senators Reid, Boxer, Murray, Feingold and for Giannoulias's campaign.
o Union members in West Virginia know who is on their side, giving
Governor Manchin a whopping 40 point margin.
o And we're stepping up the effort even more in CO to c
increase our numbers.
HOW OUR GRASSROOTS PROGRAM GOT US TO WHERE WE ARE TODAY
Direct Member to Member Contact
o Union volunteers have given out 17.5 million leaflets, while
talking to workers one-on-one, at over 4,000 worksites.
o We have made over 23.6 million phone calls.
o We have knocked on over 1.3 million doors.
o All of these "traditional" voter contact methods have been
supplemented through our new media tools including national and state emails, national and state websites and blogs, Facebook and Twitter and text messages.
o We have over 2,000 release staff from affiliated unions across
the country, working with over 3,000 local union coordinators, to support the tens of thousands of union volunteers each day who are undertaking this grassroots work.
o On just this past Saturday we knocked on 183,000 doors.
o We have been testing and refining our direct mail program for
many cycles and found that mail is much more effective among union members than among general public voters. The reason is they see it as a communication from a trusted source, their union, which they want to read. Our testing shows union members spend much more time reading the pieces, and retain more information from them, than the general public does. ** NOTE ** - We are finding that Republicans are most vulnerable on outsourcing and social security and the threat they pose to workers' rights.
o This week alone we are sending 4.1 million pieces of mail.
o Overall, we have sent 18.6 million pieces of mail so far.
o Between now and the election there will be additional flights of
o Since July, when the political mobilization program started,
President Richard Trumka, Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker have been traveling the country joining working families in grassroots activities.
o From just October 14 to October 20 they will be hitting eight
states over six days – Del.; Ill.; Ind.; Ohio; Ore.; Pa.; Texas; and Wash.
o Presidents and officers of affiliate unions have been traveling
the country extensively, participating in grassroots activities with union members.
o More trips for officers will be announced shortly.
§ Affiliated Organizations
o Working America is talking to their 3.2 million members about
jobs and the economy, door knocking over 25,000 households a week. WA members are also getting direct mail from the AFL-CIO.
o The Alliance for Retired Americans is talking to their 4 million
members through phone banks and town halls about the dangers we face from right wing plans to privatize social security. ARA members have also been getting direct mail from the AFL-CIO.
o The Union Veterans Council lets union veterans talk to their
fellow vets about the issues facing them in the election through canvassing and phone banks. This past Saturday they joined Congressman Murphy for a large canvass in PA 08.
WHERE OUR GRASSROOTS PROGRAM IS TAKING US
o There is Still Time on the Clock - As I outlined above, all of
this grassroots field work has moved the polling numbers significantly.
Those polling numbers are as of October 10, leaving nearly an entire month to have a greater impact with our voter contact. And as we know, this is when our program is at full capacity.
o We are Already Putting Votes in the Bank – As I write this,
it's not just two weeks until Election Day, voting has already been going on for weeks. Our field program is tailored in each state to take into account their early voting laws. Whether it's early voting in person, vote by mail or no excuse absentee voting all of our activities
and materials are customized. Accordingly, we are not just talking to
union members about the candidates; we are already getting votes for them.
An early indication of the effectiveness of these programs can be found in Ohio and Iowa where ABC News reported on the disparity between Democratic and Republican early voting. Professor M ichael McDonald, an expert in voting statistics and trends told them, "I don't know what the heck to make out of what we're seeing out of Iowa and Ohio. I feel like I'm in 2008, it's like déjà vu all over again."
Another interesting example of how our program is tailored to each state is Nevada. Starting Monday in Las Vegas, we will have continuous shuttle bus services for union members in the hospitality and gaming industries, to provide them transportation to early voting sites.
o GOTV – Although early voting is becoming more prominent,
millions and millions of union members will be voting on Election Day and will be contacted through our final massive GOTV push. We will be providing more details on our GOTV efforts shortly.
Looking at all of these facts and figures together in one place, it is truly inspiring to see the massive grassroots power and reach of millions of working families. But there is still much more work left to do.
We still face a tough economic climate the Bush administration and big business dumped on us.
The electorate is awash in undisclosed cash from the Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove.
There is no escaping the fact that there will be losses for candidates we are supporting.
But despite the challenges we face, our grassroots program is going to make the difference, race by race, to hold majorities that work for