"We are forming partnerships with everyone from La Raza, NAACP and others to talk beyond our membership," AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka told reporters this morning. "It's allowing us to also have a conversation in the community where we're always a part of but where we were not able to speak out."
The AFL-CIO has spent $6.14 million to influence the election and has contributed $15.4 million to PACs, super PACs, parties and candidates in 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Trumka broke down the powerful union's strategy, by the numbers: 5.5 million doors will be knocked on by volunteers; 5.2 million phone calls will be made; and 2 million leaflets will be handed out at almost exclusively union work sites. On Election Day, they will have more 2,000 poll monitors, connected to a network of lawyers, to handle any claims of being denied the right to vote.
Most efforts will be focused on swing states like Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin.
"AFL-CIO, Workers' Voice and Working America grassroots political campaigns are focused exclusively on getting out the vote with the issues as the driving force," Trumka said.
AFL-CIO political director Michael Podhorzer dismissed the idea that union members and the working class are "demoralized and demobilized" this time around, adding that a number of governors with anti-union agendas has shaken "the hornets nest." The AFl-CIO has counted more than 2 million union members who have already voted.
In the key battleground of Ohio, Trumka is quite optimistic: he predicts President Obama to win the state by 3 or 4 points.
In Florida, Podhorzer said the union is working to mobilize voters along the I-4 corridor.
And Trumka said union participation will boost the chances of Senate candidates Rep. Tammy Baldwin, Elizabeth Warren and Sens. Sherrod Brown, Amy Klobuchar, Debbie Stabenow, Bob Casey and Claire McCaskill. The group's internal polling has Baldwin taking 60 percent of the union vote in Wisconsin.
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