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Working America urging unemployed to vote for Democrats

By Gretchen Millich


East Lansing, MI – The community organizing arm of the AFL-CIO is reaching out to jobless workers to support Democrats in the November election. The group called "Working America" says they want the real victims of the recession to make their voices heard.

Working America is starting the campaign with about 100,000 of its own members who are unemployed and registered to vote. They'll be contacting other people who are out of work, by canvassing neighborhoods, job training centers and soup kitchens.

Program director Maggie Priebe says, "What we're able to do is talk to them about who's really standing in the way of investing in jobs and that when you compare voting records and really see what's been happening over the past 18 months, as a block the Republicans have voted against every single jobs bill, including unemployment extension."

But like many analysts, Patrick Anderson of Anderson Economic group in East Lansing predicts that Michigan voters, whether jobless or not, will turn away from Democratic candidates. He points to the gubernatorial primary, where a number of people crossed over to vote for Republican Rick Snyder, who casts himself as a political outsider.

Anderson says, "They have clearly decided that they are not happy with the party in power, and I think quite a few of the voters that came over were clearly not behavioral Republican voters. They were people that said what we have now is wrong and we're not sure what we want yet but it's something different."

The unemployed in Michigan could be a strong voting block in November. Michigan has the nation's second highest unemployment rate.

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