November 4, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – Labor unions trying to defeat Donald Trump have sent out nearly 2,000 canvassers who’ve knocked on more than 6 million people’s doors in swing states—with instructions to establish a “personal connection” with them and scripts tailored to black, Latino, and millennial voters.
Polls show Trump leading among working-class white men, but the AFL-CIO’s internal polling data says his support among union members in Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin has fallen from 41% to 33% since June, and the Service Employees International Union, which has a higher proportion of black and Latino members, estimates that only one-sixth of its members back Trump. Working America political director Matt Morrison says there’s not much point in trying to switch Trump’s hardcore supporters, but it is possible to get disgruntled voters who see Hillary Clinton as an establishment candidate to move “from Trump to undecided.” “You’d be surprised how little information on the issues these voters have,” said Amanda Brown, campaign director of For Our Future, a super-PAC funded by the AFL-CIO and unions including the American Federation of Teachers, AFSCME, and the National Education Association. Telling union members that some of Trump’s buildings were made with Chinese steel, said AFL-CIO field director Karen Gasper, has been “really helpful in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin.” Read more