AFL-CIO Official: ‘Difference Will Be and Can Be the Labor Vote’

By Maya

Oct 19, 2010 1:32pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: Top union officials are promising a labor “firewall,” where their get-out-the-vote operations will save the day for endangered Democrats – overcoming the “enthusiasm gap” that political observers agree belongs to Republicans. On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Karen Ackerman, the AFL-CIO’s executive director, said that union efforts are “overcoming” the GOP’s motivation edge. “Lots of people talk about the enthusiasm gap, in terms of middle-class people, working families. And there’s no doubt that middle class families are disappointed and nervous and scared about the economy,” Ackerman said. But with unions spreading information to their members, she said, “we’re finding that we’re overcoming the so-called enthusiasm gap among union families.” If Democrats don’t wind up holding control of Congress, she said, “I would not say it’s labor’s fault. I would say that many, many of these races are going to be very close…” “The difference will be and can be the labor vote.” Ackerman also acknowledged that tea party candidates have been successful in attracting support among union members, but said union leaders will be able to convince voters to go in different directions. “I think there is an attraction about tea party candidates because there’s a lot of visibility for the Tea Party effort. I’m not sure there’s much attractiveness about the tea party candidates,” Ackerman said. “Certainly that the anger you normally feel, that the tea party is tapping into, exists, and so what we see is dramatic change among our own polling, among union voters.”

We also checked in with Bloomberg News’ Lisa Lerer, on public enthusiasm for tea party candidates, plus the business community’s qualms about supporter those candidates.

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