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Unions Fear Losing Members to McCain

1:00 PM, Mar 12, 2008 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
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The LA Times reports on the AFL-CIO's decision to spend millions to try to keep their members supporting the Democratic presidential candidate--whoever that candidate may be:

The AFL-CIO became concerned after polls and focus groups found considerable willingness among union members to consider supporting McCain, regardless of which Democrat won the nomination...

Some analysts say the threat of defections to McCain will be particularly acute if Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee. In many of this year's caucuses and primaries, Obama has lost working-class white voters to rival Hillary Rodham Clinton. Holding on to those voters in swing states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania will be one key to the party's efforts in November against McCain, the presumed GOP nominee.

"The Obama campaign has not been very successful in connecting with middle-aged, older, white working-class voters," said Geoffrey Garin, a Democratic pollster who has done work for the AFL-CIO and is not affiliated with any candidate. "It is very important for them to understand why that is so because those are the kinds of voters who have been swing voters in the last two general elections."

According to CNN exit polls, union members backed John Kerry by a margin of 61-38 in 2004, and Al Gore by a margin of 62-34 in 2000. One wonders how the AFL-CIO sees McCain performing this year, and whether the Democrats stand to lose more union votes if they nominate Obama, or African-American votes if they nominate Clinton.

H/T The Foundry