As we know, both the AFL-CIO and the SEIU are targeting Pennsylvania for voter education/GOTV efforts this presidential year, while promising a load of grassroots work to counter-balance higher-spending SuperPACs and nonprofits attacking Democrats on the airwaves. Real Clear Politics has a nice story on the state of such organizing these days from an AFL source:
Instead of paying for ads, labor would like to organize people in the same social networks as potential new voters and get them to explain and rebut the content of attack ads. Recent experiments suggest that friend-to-friend conversations about negative information in political advertising increased skepticism by 20 to 30 points (compared with a control group that saw ads on TV, did not talk to friends and accepted the information at face value).
"We're working harder to get it up to scale," the source said. The technique, with trained activists, can work via personal contact as well as with Facebook, Twitter, email or other outreach to potential voters from people they know.
Politico also looks at labor targeting the midwest rust belt:
Labor's efforts on the ground in the critical swing states aim to buoy President Barack Obama and other down-ballot Democrats. But big losses could open the floodgates to Wisconsin-style union reforms in other states and further undercut Big Labor's power in a region it has long dominated. It could also impair Obama's reelection chances and boost presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney's prospects.
"This is a place that is a bellwether for all of our country," said Seth Rosen, vice president of the Communication Workers of America's District 4, which represents workers in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. "Other places are red states or blue states. These are purple states."