With Ohio looking extremely close, the AFL-CIO’s voter registration efforts may provide the margin of error for President Obama if he can somehow eke out a victory. Earlier this month, the AFL-CIO said it had registered over 450,000 voters across the country; it also stated that it had registered more than 68,000 voters in Ohio. Professor Paul Beck, a political science professor at Ohio State University, said he questioned the number. But the AFL-CIO stands by it. In 2008, Obama beat John McCain in the state by just over 200,000 votes. This cycle is far closer. And that makes the AFL-CIO – and its head, Richard Trumka – far more relevant.
In Ohio, the efforts of private unions like the AFL-CIO have driven state politics for years. When Gov. John Kasich passed legislation that would have cracked down on public sector unionization in order to protect taxpayers, the unions mobilized all their force and somehow convinced the Ohio public to stop the measure.
Now they’ll wield all their power for President Obama. “It’s obvious what the deal here is,” says Mallory Factor, author of the bestselling book on public sector unions, Shadowbosses. “It’s the same deal as always. If the unions pull out this election for President Obama, all of their favorite legislation is back on the table nationally, including card check. President Obama has been doing their bidding since the outset of his administration – the unions were the unsung villains behind Obamacare. Just wait to see what they’ll demand if they can leverage Ohio for their man.”