Labor Made The Difference
November 13, 2012
By Neal Tepel, LaborPress Publisher
The evening of November 6, 2012, I attended the annual Election Night Reception at the Sheraton Hotel in New York City. For many years this had been an annual tradition for me. The event was particularly exciting this year since President Obama was predicted to win reelection although with a slight margin. Clearly this would be an historic event.
Shortly after the polls closed in New York at 9PM, President Obama was declared the victor in this state and gained 29 Electoral College votes. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was also declared the winner of her Senate seat and she thanked the audience for their support.
I, along with millions across the country kept watching the results from Ohio and Florida. I have followed presidential elections since high school but have never been concerned with the results as this time around. I kept looking at the Sheraton's giant screen while the vote count continued to move closer to the magic 270 for President Obama. The results from Florida and Ohio didn't seem to change much every time I glanced at the big screen. It appeared as though votes were being counted by hand in those states. Nearby I noticed many others also watching the monitor anxiously as electoral votes were added to both candidates. Finally the results from Ohio flashed on the screen and President Obama was declared the winner of Ohio and the election. The hall exploded in joy. President Barack Obama was now reelected to the White House for a second term.
The re-election of President Obama and Vice President Biden was critical to protecting vital programs like Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, end tax cuts for the wealthy and strengthen the middle class. This election also bolstered the Democratic majority in the Senate which will be needed to pass important legislation.
Labor's get-out-the-vote efforts were essential to this critical win. Union members across the country provided a tireless army to make calls, knock on doors, micro-target potential voters and drive supporters to the polls. Thousands of activists participated in worksite leafleting, phone banks, labor walks and other actions throughout the battleground states in support of President Obama and candidates in key races in those states. In every part of the country, labor unions worked with community organizations to register thousands of voters. Getting Obama supporters registered and into voting booths provided the edge needed to defeat Mitt Romney.
President Obama and Vice President Biden have been allies of working men and women and continually supported middle class values. In return, workers and unions in every corner of this great country made an historic effort to ensure their re-election.