It’s All About GOTV

In recent days, Meg Whitman’s campaign has been trying to convince anyone who will listen that the polls are wrong because she has used her unlimited resources to buy a superior Get Out the Vote operation that’s going to shock the prognosticators. Just one problem with that… there’s already a massive, sophisticated GOTV operation under way to defeat her.

That operation is powered by the energy of tens of thousands of union volunteers who are embarking on restless days and sleepless nights through Election Day to get the word out to millions of voters. If Whitman's ace in the hole is to beat Jerry Brown with a ground operation, she might consider a Plan B.

Whitman’s spent $170 million and counting to convince voters that the Wall Street way is the right way. But the more voters we talk to, the more clear it becomes that they are rejecting her message that California needs more of the same failed Bush policies — tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation — that collapsed our economy. Instead, working people are embracing a new direction for California that helps us rebuild from the bottom up by investing in jobs, education and the public services our families rely upon. That's what Jerry Brown will do as Governor.

California Labor’s GOTV program is years in the making, culminating this weekend with more than 30,000 volunteers fanning out across the state to reach as many as 4 million voters. In the final week alone, California Labor will make more than 3.3 million GOTV phone calls, visit 325,000 homes and distribute more than a half million flyers at worksites.

In addition to the outreach from union member to union member – which is vastly superior to Whitman and Fiorina’s impersonal approach to voter contact – there’s a massive, targeted effort to reach working-class non-union voters in critical areas of the state. More than 2 million voters in the Central Valley, Inland Empire, Orange County and San Diego — traditional Republican strongholds — have been receiving information for weeks on the candidates’ positions on issues like jobs, education and public safety. To further stress the importance of voting, the California Labor Federation launched a GOTV television ad earlier this week, using Whitman's regret over her atrocious voting record to urge voters to not have a “Meg Moment” and get to the polls on Tuesday.

A few other GOTV highlights:

Senate: Union members from all walks of life are getting in on the GOTV effort, including actor Warren Beatty. Beatty recorded a special message to about 500,000 union members about the importance of re-electing Sen. Barbara Boxer, who’s fighting for good jobs, a clean environment and Wall Street reform. The Beatty calls are in addition to the mail blitz that was launched to absentee and regular voters in the last month, which reached more than 1 million households.

Attorney General: Today, the Labor Federation launched a new TV spot for Kamala Harris entitled “Toughness,” which highlights her strong record fighting crime and protecting consumers.  

Congressional races: We've increased voter contacts in three key districts: CD-3 (Ami Bera), CD-11 (Jerry McNerney) and CD-20 (Jim Costa). This program consists of targeted phone calls and door knocks, in addition to GOTV mailers supporting those candidates.

This is the largest GOTV program in California Labor’s history. Meg may have the money, but she will never be able to match the energy that we’re seeing in the field among union volunteers heading into the final four days. While victory is near, this election is not over yet. In addition to the personal fortunes being spent by Whitman and Fiorina, the Chamber of Commerce and even Karl Rove are pouring millions of dollars into Republican campaign coffers in the final days to try to steal this election. We mustn’t let them succeed.

If you haven’t gotten to a phone bank or precinct walk, now’s the time. And if you’re already out there pounding the pavement, please keep it up. It’s time we show the corporate campaign machine that no matter how much money they spend, it won’t be enough to counteract the power of a motivated grassroots movement.