One of the nation’s largest labor unions is unveiling plans to invest $150 million in a nationwide campaign to help defeat President Donald Trump, a sweeping effort focused on eight battleground states and voters of color who typically don’t vote, The Associated Press informs.
The investment marks the largest voter engagement and turnout operation in the history of the Service Employees International Union, which claims nearly 2 million members. The scope of the campaign, which quietly launched last month and will run through November’s general election, reflects the urgency of what union president Mary Kay Henry calls “a make-or-break” moment for working people in America under Trump’s leadership.
“He’s systematically unwinding and attacking unions. Federal workers rights have been totally eviscerated under his watch,” Henry said in an interview. “We are on fire about the rules being rigged against us and needing to elect people that are going to stand with workers.”
The union’s campaign will span 40 states and target 6 million voters focused largely in Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, according to details of the plan shared with The Associated Press. The union and its local members will pay particular attention to two key urban battlegrounds they believe will play a defining role in the 2020 general election: Detroit and Milwaukee. There may be some television advertising, but the investment will focus primarily on direct contact and online advertising targeting minority men and women who typically don’t vote.
Few groups of voters will be more important in the 2020 general election. Trump won the presidency four years ago largely because of his popularity with working-class whites and a drop-off in turnout from minority voters.
The union’s political director, Maria Peralta, noted that Trump’s campaign has been working effectively in recent months to win over some minority voters, particularly men, who have traditionally voted Democratic.
“He’s going after our communities in ways that are pervasive. We’re deeply aware of that,” Peralta said. “They’re talking about the strength of the economy.”
The Service Employees International Union, like the Democratic Party and its allies across the nation, faces significant headwinds in its fight to deny Trump a second term. Voters who may dislike his overall job performance are generally pleased with his leadership on the economy, and unemployment for black Americans has hit record lows in recent months.