Democrats in Ohio are hoping the sound defeat of a Republican-backed union law last year will carry over into the November election and give a boost to President Barack Obama.
The president is scheduled to spend part of Labor Day campaigning at a United Auto Workers’ rally in Toledo, a city where organized labor has a big presence.
Obama has been heavily courting the labor vote, and Vice President Joe Biden visited a northeast Ohio union hall Friday near a General Motors assembly plant in Lordstown. Biden touted the Obama administration’s rescue of the auto industry.
Biden has spent the past two Labor Days in Ohio. He attended a union gathering in Cincinnati a year ago and, the year prior, he marched in Toledo’s Labor Day parade.
Labor unions came out in full force last November to reject the state law limiting the bargaining abilities of more than 350,000 teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public workers.
Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who represents a district that stretches from Toledo to suburban Cleveland, said she still talks to public employees at union halls and firehouses who remain angry over attempts to clamp down on them.
“It’s not old news there. It left a raw scar across the landscape,” she said. “That issue resonated to the very core of every person in the middle class.”
Republicans have downplayed any potential carry-over effect and note that Ohio voters rejected Obama’s health insurance mandate in a largely symbolic vote. They say other issues will play a bigger role in the election.
Getting union voters in Ohio to turn out in November will be crucial for Democrats. About 650,000 workers in the state — or 13 percent — are union members. The national average is just under 12 percent.
article courtesy of Newsnet5.com