AFL-CIO Targets West Virginia for Obama

Oct 21, 2008 11:30am

ABC News’ Teddy Davis and Ferdous Al-Faruque Report: The AFL-CIO added West Virginia on Tuesday afternoon to its list of targeted states, bringing to 21 the total number of presidential states where the labor federation is competing.

"We were active in West Virginia in 2004. We did not include it on our battleground list this time. But because of the heightened fear on the part of working families about the economy, and where jobs are going, and health care, we think that it’s a viable state at this point," Karen Ackerman, the political director of the AFL-CIO, told ABCNEWS.com in an interview.

Ackerman said that there are 125,000 union voters in West Virginia, a number which includes union members as well as members of union households and union retirees. The AFL-CIO’s effort in the state will include direct mail, phone banking, and talking to affiliate political directors about reaching out to their members.

Check out a PDF of AFL-CIO’s first West Virginia mailer ad by clicking here. The ad has been sent out to 30,000 voters in the state.

Obama’s chances in the Mountain State were originally dismissed because of the drubbing he took in the state’s May 13 primary.

Hillary Clinton defeated Obama in West Virginia by a 67-to-26 percent margin.

Ackerman was not able to put a dollar figure on the size of the AFL-CIO’s effort in West Virginia. It is part of a $250 million mobilization effort that the AFL-CIO and its 56 affiliated unions are making nationwide in 2008. 

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